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Each day hundreds of job seekers say, "I can't find a job," and quit looking. In fact, after only one week of a search, the average adult starts slowing down the effort to only one to four hours a week. The average high school student quits looking after hearing "no" four times.

The biggest problem for most job seekers is that they can say the words "I can't" much quicker than the words "I can." Your next goal is to ensure that you become and remain an "I can" person.


Author Napoleon Hill studied rich and powerful people to find out how they turned their lives into success stories. In his book, Think and Grow Rich, he claims that whether these persons started in a big house or a small hut, all of them had one thing in common: Their attitudes were driven by their positive beliefs.

Hill discovered that the mind is like a garden. It can grow weeds or flowers. Weeds grow from seeds of despair. Flowers grow from positive thoughts. I think this analogy applies particularly well to job seekers.

When a job seeker believes that he or she can't interview very well, or has no skills, then anger grows like a weed patch. Soon the job seeker figures, "What's the use?"

The person begins searching fewer and fewer hours each day, doesn't bother to get dressed up for interviews, and generally feels everyone else gets the breaks. In the end, this person is merely going through the job-search motions. The mind is now so cluttered with weeds, the person never believes that the flower of a good job will ever blossom.

If your brain continually plants weed seeds by emitting the message, "I cannot get a job," the entire world will begin to hear this message, and you will stay unemployed longer.

To sow flower seeds, your attitude must be positive and focused upon a plan or purpose. Start each day believing that you will get a job. This thought will energize your whole attitude. When you believe in yourself, you will start your job search early, get dressed, and begin making plans. You will begin to attract positive people and situations. You are still going to hear "no" frequently, but you must believe that a "yes" is also part of your life. In the words of Napolean Hill:

The thoughts we feed our mind Create the energy we find.

Persistence, luck, and this energy Create our final destiny.


When your whole being aches with the desire for a dream to come true, you will find the impetus to think positively.

So pick a dream job you can truly strive for. Pick a dream worthy of your precious time and energy. Be future-oriented about this. Your dream job doesn't have to be your very next job; it may be something you work toward. This dream must be special if it is help you overcome disappointment and discouragement. Get power from this special thought by spending time each day thinking about your dream job. Daydream about it in your spare moments. Realize that your next job will start you on the road to your ideal job.

As you see it coming true in your mind, you will find yourself doing everything you can to make it come true in your daily life. It will become like a fire that cannot be extinguished. Then the habit of this dream takes on its own power and sweeps aside all opposition.


Job-search experts claim that you will probably hear at least 15 to 20 "no's" or rejections before you hear a "yes" to come in and discuss a job opening.

Then, the average person hears at least three "no's" from interviewers before he or she is offered a job. That means the average person will hear from 15 to 60 "no's" before getting a job offer.

The "I Can" person makes a game out of this. So can you, with the help of the Job-Search Scorecard below. Make a copy and paste it onto a 3 x 5 index card. Carry it with you during your job search. Each time you hear a "no" use a pencil to darken out a circled "no." Then record the total number of "no's" on your Job Seeker's Daily A ititude and Goals Sheet (next page).

After you darken out a "no," feed your spirit positive thoughts by saying: I'm one more "no" closer to a "yes!"


Reinforce your winning attitude and job-search goals by completing a sheet like the following each day.

State What You Want

I want a job that

Plan Your Efforts

To get this job, I am willing to commit my greatest energy and effort to job hunting. I will plan today to undertake these (check off items and indicate amounts in blanks):

? Read want ads and career-placement bulletins.

? Visit places with job listings, such as placement

offices, education departments in universities, school-district personnel, and special education offices.

Q Call administrators, teachers, or department heads.

? Network with persons about job leads.

? Visit a school in a district where I want to work.

? Complete and return job applications.

? Write letters to prospective employers.

Q Write thank-you letters to recent interviewers or job-opening contacts.

? Join and participate in professional organizations.

? Join and participate in school/community groups.

? Sign up to substitute in this district: .

? Conduct a career survey in a place I typically don't visit, such as a state agency, a place where grants are allocated, or a professional organization.

Q Rewrite my resume or write a new one featuring:

End Your Day By Reviewing Your Efforts
  1. I got closer to the "yes" by getting this many "no's":
  2. An example of my energy, persistence, and effort was when I:
  3. Review each item you checked off on the list at left. Circle each one that you completed today. Assign any you did not complete to one of the To-Do lists below.
  4. Something I need to learn more about is:
  5. I am a winner. Tomorrow I will begin the day with this thought:



When nothing seems to be working, check to see that you are concentrating on what is really important. Review these job-search essentials. If you are not using them, do so immediately!

? Use many methods of job search. Experts say that the

more methods you use, the quicker you will find

work. Use as many methods as you can from the Job

Seeker's Daily Attitude and Goal Sheet (previous


Q Visit persons in your field weekly or monthly. They don't all have to be prospective employers. They may be job counselors, school secretaries, anyone who will talk to you about your job search.

? Check back with school districts that interest you three times even if you are told there are no foresee able openings. Everything changes from week to week. People leave, levies fail and even more educa tors leave, grant monies come in, a person gets preg nant, another person get's injured, somebody takes early retirement, another person gets promoted leav ing an opening behind, someone goes back to school, etc., etc Check back three times. Don't apologize, just say how much you really want to work in that district. Also check back several times with your contacts in the field to see if they have any new job leads.

? Dress for success each day. Getting dressed up puts you in the right frame of mind. Dress as though you might bump into an employer. Make people think that you are somebody on the move. If you dress shabbily, you'll get only shabby help from contacts you meet. Everyone wants to help a winner.

? Get out and meet people. Don't just sit and wait to be called by personnel departments that have your application. Don't wait for job openings to miracu-lously appear on the job board of your choice. Use your networking skills to estimate where the desirable openings will be. Dig in and learn all you can about these school districts and the people who run them. Then make yourself visible in these districts and to these people. Conduct school surveys, substitute teach, volunteer for school-related projects

? Tell everyone you meet about your job hunt. You never know who may lead you to that long-awaited "yes."

? Take time out for your leisure life. All workers get time off, and job-hunting is hard work. Reward your-self. You've earned it!
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