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Did I Smell of Blood?

Jason Alba runs a free/premium website for job seekers (JibberJobber) which I used sporadically during the 14 months I did not have full time employment.

I just read a post he wrote on his blog, the thrust of which is that when a job seeker is desperate, that desperation is apparent, and hurts the search.

My experience bears that out. I lost my job in July 2009, and spent the next 9 months trying to build my freelance business exclusively. I had limited success, earning enough to pay the mortgage most months, so our savings were only lightly drained. In March 2010 I decided to pursue full-time employment as well, and started a search in earnest. It was also a struggle. Clearly the job market was picking up, and I saw a lot of activity, but not much was meaningful and nothing was sticking.

Then, in August 2010 the business started a nice upward track. I added additional services (bookkeeping) and took on a couple of additional clients. Then and only then, did the job search also get some traction. I ended up accepting a great business technology consulting position.

I realize that temporal connection does not imply causal connection.  In retrospect however, it seems likely that the improvement in my outlook had a positive impact on how I was received by HR folks and hiring managers.  Part of me wonders if things would have turned sooner for me if I had been more outrageously positive.

So I would second Mr. Alba’s advice .. when things seem down, do everything possible to keep a HIGHLY positive outlook, and to communicate and emote that positive outlook in every way.

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