“New York will eventually dull your sparkle and you’ll become a little bit more jaded like the rest of us…”
The quote today is something that someone said to me after I had only been here for two weeks… the quote is peculiar today because today’s post is a little bit different than usual. I’m going to get real for a hot minute; I’ve been in New York for 6 weeks and I am still job hunting.
The official definition of job-hunting is to seek employment… my definition of job hunting is to destroy one’s soul. I know it sounds dramatic, but when you make job hunting your full time job, you have to spend all day every day trying to sell yourself. It’s a sales job (cold-calling, cold-emailing, sales pitches, you name it) but you’re trying to sell yourself and your experience! It’s not easy and it could cause you to lose hope or become disheartened. However, I haven’t lost hope nor have I become disheartened and this week, I began to ask myself why? Am I that naive, that even this can’t put me off – coming up on 7 weeks of cover letter writing, resume nit-picking, LinkedIn stalking etc. and I’m still remaining positive and optimistic about it. After, double-guessing myself, I have decided it’s not naivety, it’s just the way I am.
I have met numerous people who seem to let negativity win out every day since I came to New York City, (like the person who said the aforementioned quote) and I don’t think that New York City will make me jaded. I have found that being positive is providing me with so much fulfillment recently. When I meet negative people, all I can think about are all the reasons there are to be positive and I try to point these things out to people (which doesn’t go down well with people who like to complain). But sometimes, it leads me to doubt myself. How is it that so many people have so many things to complain about? Do I have just as many, I just can’t see them. The answer is, probably! But I choose not too see them and that’s the important part.
Because I have found myself doubting myself recently, today I’ve decided to spend an hour writing down the benefits that being positive provides to remind me and hopefully anyone reading this why it is so important to keep seeing things through rose-tinted glasses. Even if things aren’t that rosy!
I’d like to apologise right now too for the fact that this post is job-centric – mostly because that’s all I can think of at the moment but it also serves as a good example.
Send out positive vibes – they do come back to you
This is a testament as old as time, but I’ve never believed in anything as much. My family always make fun of me for being the luckiest person on the planet; every now and then things just fall on my lap and I am so grateful but I really believe it’s because I send out positive vibes (or at least try to) all the time and after months and months of doing it everyday, every now and then – it all comes up Milhouse!
People say the harder you work, the luckier you get and I do believe that but I also think you get luckier and luckier the more positive you are. If you’re negative minded, half of the time you won’t even recognise when you’ve been lucky!
You never know who can provide the next opportunity
I’m not opportunistic, or so I don’t think! But I do think it’s important to be kind to people not only because it’s nice to be nice, but because you don’t know who is going to provide you with your next opportunity. The person that you shove past on the street might be the person you’re going to be interviewed by for your dream job. It actually (very freakily) happened to me last week. I smiled at a man and allowed him to pass me getting off the subway on the way to a networking event and then it turned out he was on the way to the same networking event. Not only did it mean he approached me without caution to see if he had any opportunities for me when he recognised me but it also meant that I didn’t die from embarrassment. Because had I shoved past him rudely and then bumped into him minutes later at an event like that, I would have died. Also, as I said it’s nice to be nice, so be kind in general, not just for your own potential benefit!
My all time favourite example of when this paid dividends for me was when while I was working in the university last year, I annoyingly got placed in the Dentistry Department, which meant that once a week I had to leave my department and trek to the School of Medicine. I didn’t enjoy it (nor did I enjoy when they placed me in the Chemical Engineering Department on the other side of the city) but I took it on the chin and got on with it. I knew nothing about dentistry and I didn’t know what I was doing, nor did I have any guidance, but I winged it and winged it with a smile. I ended up befriending the head of the department and he eventually asked me to give him English grinds, which I did. We got along so well that by the end of the year, when I decided to get about €500 worth of dental work done, I asked him for a recommendation. He recommended a friend of his and, long story short, his friend did all of the dental work for free. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. And I truly believe that that ‘luck‘ was positive vibes being repaid.
Having a sunny disposition attracts people with a sunny disposition
I’ve been described as having a sunny disposition, and I’ve noticed that having such a disposition makes it easier to make friends. I arrived in New York knowing no one and now I’m happy to say that as hard as it has been job-wise, I have had absolutely no problem making friends so far. I’m loving meeting so many new people; everyone here has such an interesting story and I find it fascinating to learn how people end up here. It also means that the people I have become friendly with are, for the most part, just as happy and positive as I am.
If you follow me on snapchat (IFtravels), you’ll know that when my subway stopped a few weeks ago, I got talking to a girl my age who was sitting across from me. We ended up having to get off the subway because it went out of service, but we shared a cab home and we’ve since went for coffee and get along so well. She lived and worked on the Disney Cruise for the last 9 months – sunny disposition doesn’t even really cut it!
It gives you a lust for life
One thing about being as positive as possible in your day to day life is that it makes you get up off your ass and live. I think, if I’ve ever been in a rut, it’s caused by negative discourse happening around me. If I feel like the weather’s crap or there’s nothing to do, it’s caused by not thinking positively and hearing people around you speaking negatively about your environment. It sounds easier said than done, but allow that negativity to become white noise and focus on what’s really important. If you have positive thoughts, you wake up and you want to explore, you want to be out and about and be busy. Business exudes business and being busy allows you to find more reasons to be positive. You meet more people, experience more experiences and all of that allows you to see what’s good in the world.
Yesterday, I had nothing hugely exciting planned for the day/week (item number one on the to-do list was to revisit the Social Security Office after my card never arrived – so it was not looking like rainbows and unicorns). In order to change that, I got out google (for two seconds, and that’s all it takes) to look up exciting things to do – I found a free viewing of a French documentary all about the Paris Opera Ballet at the French Institute on Fifth Avenue, exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for. It was right down my alley, French AND ballet, my two favourites and it was so simple but that tiny thing changed my attitude towards the week ahead. I was excited about Monday again. Even if you don’t live in New York, this is possible, all you have to do is set yourself something fun to look forward to.
Thinking negative thoughts causes negative consequences
This one isn’t science (none of them are) but I really think that if I was to sit around thinking ‘Ugh! I’m never going to get a job….’ then I really wouldn’t. Instead I keep telling myself that it’s all going to fall into place – granted, it hasn’t yet – but the more I think positive thoughts about it, HOPEFULLY the better it will all work out. People always talk about the art of visualisation, and until recently I didn’t really think that that was a thing, but more recently I’ve realised that it’s not visualising precisely what you dream of and it happens like I’m going to get my dream job and win the lotto and then within six months both of those things happen – it’s more about thinking positive things will happen to you and they will. Who knows really if any of this really works, but at least I believe it and as long as I do… it will continue to work for me.
ANY PUBLISHERS THAT WANT TO OFFER ME A SELF-HELP BOOK DEAL, I AM AVAILABLE! haha… No but seriously, these are a few of the perks that being positive provides, and I thought I would remind myself of them as well as share them with you. There’s enough negativity in the world today – don’t add to it. Mental health has been on my mind a lot recently, especially the mental health of people my age in Ireland, and I think it’s important that we all remind ourselves not to breed negativity but to breed enthusiasm for life and for living and more importantly to be authentically positive.
I hope someone other than my Dad, Sister and Granny made it to the end of this blog and if you did, firstly, thank you! and I hope it helps!