The Psychology of Starting a Career

It strikes me that just about every impressive public speaker that I have ever seen has given the impression of having energy to burn. Enthusiasm is contagious and people seem to respond positively to those who radiate energy.

Further enforcement this notice includes research that suggests that a whooping 93% of communications involves information other than words. This includes visual senses as well as the tone and pitch of ones' voice.

In my experience people in general are well tuned to these non-verbal signals. Have you ever walked into a room where a friend or family member has asked "what's wrong?" – even before you have spoken a word? Or has anyone commented that you look tired despite your best efforts to hide the fact?

Understanding your non verbal communications will serve you well at the beginning of your career. Because there is often very little difference between entry level job mandates in terms of prior experience there is usually a higher emphasis on potential rather than immediate value to the organization.

And one key factor in identifying potential is the job mandates' willingness to learn, listen and adapt. Not only does genuine positive energy convey enthusiasm but it also helps to subconsciously convince the employer of untapped potential even before a word is spoken. And given that only 7% of communication involves words it is theoretically possible to convince an employer that you are the most suitable candidate even without the most elegant rhetoric.

But beware the gotcha. Remember we mentioned that most people are well tuned to non-verbal signals? This means that it would be difficult to fake enthusiasm or energy. You may think that you can achieve that without much problem. But over the course of a nerve-racking one hour interview the cracks are sure to surface.

Indeed, the best way to ensure that you portray the right energy levels and attitude through the entire interview is to actually have the right energy levels and attitude. This means ensuring at least a few good nights sleep prior to the interview and living life in a positive way. Develop a keen interest in the company that is interviewing you and communicate your findings to them so that they can see that you have been proactively preparing yourself for the occasion.

As you can see, what I am trying to say is that the phycology of starting a career starts at home. Living, learning and enjoying the challenges of life helps you to prepare what is probably the single most important characteristic of a great job candidate – your perceived attitude.