Capitalizing on Diversity and Finding Happiness in a Down Economy

One strategy that may be helpful during a job search is to focus on gratitude. Gratitude focuses on recognizing and developing an appreciation for ones strengths, attributes, relationships, or any other thing that is good in your life. A focus on gratitude can go a long way in fending off the negative thoughts associated with hopelessness and depression. Furthermore, focusing on gratitude opens up the door to thinking about all the potential unique qualities that one may be able to translate onto their resume, discuss during an interview, and deliver to a potential employer. This becomes particularly important during these challenging times as more and more people are competing for scarce job opportunities.

With the increase in job scarcity employers are getting inundated with endless resumes, calls for informational interviews, and referrals. With this increase in competition one of the most significant factors that separates potential employees from one another is their “uniqueness,” otherwise known as “diversity.”

One may find it paradoxical that diversity becomes more important during an economic slowdown with the increase in competition for jobs. Since diversity brings novelty and difference to the work place one may think that organizations do not want to invest in the effort required to help someone unique assimilate into a traditional setting. However, quite the contrary is the case. Companies and organizations are looking for any angle that makes them different from their competitors and gives them an edge in this economy.

So if a potential employee brings new diversity to the organization they may be able to position themselves as the lead candidate for hire. Diversity should include the traditional definitions, such as, ethnicity, race, gender, class, linguistics, sexual orientation, age and religious beliefs in addition to difference that may not traditionally be conceptualized as diversity. The latter may include such issues as geographical differences of upbringing. This past weekend I spoke with a friend who was able to speak of his experience growing up on a farm as bringing him a unique perspective on perseverance and work ethic that distinguished him from his counterparts that grew up in suburban or urban settings.

By having gratitude for all the unique qualities that make you different not only do you move closer to a psychological state of happiness but you also can potentially position yourself to have a competitive edge during job searches. In addition to gratitude helping one become happy, research has also found that happy people tend to be more productive in the workplace. So happiness can go a long way in assisting one in finding a job and being productive in the workplace.

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