Study Shows Persistence & Positive Attitude Really Do Pay Off in Job Searching

The new Georgia Institute of Technology study also reveals how certain personality traits affect job-search behavior. For example, people tend to look harder for jobs and consequently have more success if they are:
- Optimistic and view the job loss as an opportunity to improve their position.
- Higher in self-esteem and self-efficacy; they're confident in their ability to search for a job.
- Extraverted.
- Conscientious, in the sense that they are more organized and concerned with follow-up.
"That doesn't mean that introverts or less conscientious individuals have poor re-employment prospects," said study director Ruth Kanfer, a Georgia Tech psychology professor. "But those personality traits are less conducive to the path that they're up against. In contrast, some people are naturally outgoing or predisposed to set goals and follow through."
Kanfer is completing a two-year study on job-search behavior in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Labor. Although researchers are still crunching numbers, preliminary findings show a positive relationship between active job-search behavior and re-employment success -- even in a time of recession.
"That may seem intuitive, but it's something people forget -- especially if the economy is bad," Kanfer said. "When jobs are scarce, people often assume that there's no point in looking."

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