Never forget: It's all about attitude Print
Youth Column
Thursday, Mar. 09, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

Sometimes the things we're told should go without saying are the things that most need to be said.

For example, "Attitude is everything."

If there is a phrase that should go on the list of things that don't need repeating, that phrase is on it.

If attitude is key, and it's obvious, why am I writing about it? The reason is simple. It's easy to say you believe that attitude is everything. It's hard to make it everything. Often we don't realize we've successfully found that attitude until after the moment we needed it already passed.

What if you knew how to capture that attitude and use it when needed? I think an example from my own life can show exactly how to do just that.

In college I studied a field where a first job often requires working in a small town. And, immediately after graduation, I needed to travel to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with my family. I decided to turn those two requirements into opportunity.

Before leaving on the trip, I called many businesses to request interviews, telling them I'd be in the area. I didn't tell them the area in question was New England.

I arranged an interview in Maine and drove many hours to be seen. I got the job. But, for a variety of reasons, I turned it down.

A few months later, I had no other offers. I decided to be proactive again. I once again called numerous businesses and said I'd be in the area. This time, the area was "the South."

Within weeks, I had arranged three interviews. I drove 15 hours to Florida for the first and was hired on the spot. I canceled the other two appointments in Georgia and Alabama.

It wasn't until I was hired that I realized my attitude in seeking employment was the reason my boss hired me. The confidence I showed was appealing and made me stand out.

That approach, seeing interviews as opportunities to create something that feels like an already existing partnership, has served me well. It helps that I've always worked with people who see co-workers as a team sharing the same goal.

The only time my approach fell short was interviewing with a company where I think the team idea may have been a foreign concept. The interviewer recognized my approach and flat-out asked if I thought he was going to offer me the job that day. I didn't, but by treating him as an equal, rather than an applicant seeking validation, I cost myself the chance for a second interview.

I would make the argument that even then, my approach was successful. Who wants to work for someone who thinks it's appropriate to look down at you?

I now work in a different field, but these lessons still apply. While I haven't applied for a job in a long time, I'm in a position that requires me to work closely with people in other organizations. I treat every first meeting as a job interview where I feel I already have the position but the interviewer doesn't realize it yet.

The approach works as well for that as it did when I wanted to start my career. It's also how you create an attitude to use when needed. The approach is simple; never begin a sentence saying, "I want to be ..." Instead say, "I'm going to be ..."

It's a small change that projects a big attitude. And, as you know, attitude is everything.

Erick Rommel works for a nonprofit youth organization. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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