Success depends a lot on your attitude. According to a joint study from the University of Missouri and Lehigh University, job seekers with “learning” attitudes find more success landing their dream jobs.
“Attitude means a lot,” said Daniel Turban, a professor of management at the MU Trulaske College of Business. “In our study, we found that job seekers who have a ‘learning goal orientation’ or a natural disposition to learn from every situation in life, tend to be more successful in achieving their career goals. We also found that this disposition is not just influenced by genetics; it can be acquired.”
Turban and the study’s lead author, Serge da Motta Veiga, surveyed approximately 120 college seniors during different times while in the midst of seeking jobs. They found that those who displayed a strong learning goal orientation (LGO) reacted to failures by putting more effort into the search process, compared to those who had low LGO.
“It’s not that people with a high LGO have less stress, but they deal with the stress better than others,” Turban said. “With the right amount of stress, individuals with a high LGO increased their intensity, and as a result, were more successful with reaching their goals. We always think stress is bad, but that’s not the case. Feeling a moderate amount of stress can be very motivating.”
Turban and da Motta Veiga suggest that people with low LGO can learn behaviors to help them improve their LGO.
“Job seekers can be trained to improve their LGO,” da Motta Veiga said. “Such training could help them realize that the stress and failure they experience while searching for a job is not a bad thing, but instead represents an opportunity to learn from the process and determine how they can be successful at it.”