Silver Linings Playbook Can Your Attitude Get You Hired?  

Pat (Bradley Cooper) said, “This is what I learned at the hospital. You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, you have a shot at a silver lining.” Obviously this was an attitude adjustment for him. While in therapy, Pat learned a lot about attitude and how you get what you focus on.

I find that so many people who come to me have spent a lot of time and money perfecting their art, craft or skill. When they first started out, I imagine they were passionate, enthusiastic, inspired, and excited. But many, by the time they get to me, are frustrated, bitter, jealous, resentful, and all because they have worked so hard to be great at what they do, yet, they can’t get a job.

As someone who studied my various crafts for two decades now, I am all for consistently staying sharp and up to date with new art forms, techniques and technology. That said, you must also understand the business side of the industry to get hired. And when you have both the craft and the business skills, there is yet another factor that may rate the highest of all… your attitude.

These days, with all of the talent out there, people don’t want to hire someone who complains, finds the negative in everything, brings their personal baggage to work, or “stirs the pot.” That’s why, now more than ever, people hire for attitude recognizing that skills can be taught. If there’s even a trace of negativity in you, it can cost you a job. And believe it or not, people can usually tell the first time meeting with you, whether your attitude is glass half full or glass half empty. Here’s why:  

1.    Your physiology and tonality give you away: Even if you think you are saying “all the right words” in an interview, your underlying negative attitude comes out in your tonality and physiology. Words are only 7% of communication. You may think you’re hiding your bitterness towards being out of work or your desperation for the job, but the person interviewing you picks up on the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences between your tone and your physicality and the tone and physicality of a positive person. Sorry, you can’t mask negativity.

2.    Your language is negative: If you’ve never seen the SNL skit Debbie Downer, go to YouTube and find her. If you see yourself in Debbie (or Donnie if you’re a guy), it’s time to be aware of the language you’re using. When someone interviewing you is all excited about a scene and you take the wind out of their sails by using words like “complicated,” “impossible,” “hard,” “exhausting,” or “boring,” you are not going to get hired. Be aware, are you someone who says YES and then figures out how, or are you someone who automatically says NO without trying to figure out a solution?  

3.    They recognize you from Social Media: If your social media feeds are spotted with negativity, complaining, consistent illness, or you bash the industry, your colleagues or your employers, THAT becomes your brand! You’ll be viewed as a liability to the production and you won’t get the job.

If you still aren’t sure if you are perceived as negative, which may be costing you jobs, ask someone you trust to be completely honest with you. AND… be prepared for an answer that may not be what you want to hear but may be exactly what you need to hear.

And Action!

1.    Give yourself an attitude evaluation

2.    If you need an attitude adjustment, start now! A negative attitude is a habit that can be undone once it is recognized. But bad habits can be hard to break, so put in the time.

Pat’s striving for a positive attitude got him a silver lining in the end. Your positive attitude can get you a job.