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The Mental Trick That Helps Your Job Search

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On the hunt for a new gig? Your attitude makes a big difference in your job search success, say researchers from the University of Missouri and Lehigh University. In their study, the most successful job seekers had a strong “learning goal orientation,” or LGO, meaning they saw life situations (both good and bad) as an opportunity to learn. For example, when people with high LGO experienced failure, stress, or other setbacks, it fueled them to put more effort into the search process. On the flip side, when things were going well, they also reacted by amping up their efforts. (Looking for a new gig because you're feeling overworked? Read how to Sidestep Stress, Beat Burnout, and Have It All—Really!)

Fortunately, your level of LGO isn’t just determind by your personality—the motivation can be learned, say the study authors. Their advice: carve out time to regularly reflect on how you’re doing during your search process. That's not to say the details of a job search don't matter (see: What Your LinkedIn Photo Says About You), but the more you try to learn from the experiences you have (resume feedback, interviews, etc.), the better your chances will be of landing the right position.

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