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"Learning" Attitude Boosts Job Search Success

Update Date: Jan 21, 2015 04:57 PM EST
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Having a "learning" attitude can significantly improve your chances of landing your dream job, according to a new study.

"Attitude means a lot," researcher Daniel Turban, a professor of management at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business, said in a statement. "In our study, we found that job seekers who have a 'learning goal orientation' or a natural disposition to learn from every situation in life, tend to be more successful in achieving their career goals. We also found that this disposition is not just influenced by genetics; it can be acquired."

The latest study involved 120 participants who filled out surveys at different points during the job-seeking process.  Study results revealed that participants who showed strong learning goal orientation were more likely to try harder after failing than those with low learning goal orientation. Furthermore, people with high learning goal orientation maintained or slightly increased their intensity when the process went well compared to those with low learning goal orientation.

"It's not that people with a high LGO have less stress, but they deal with the stress better than others," Turban said. "With the right amount of stress, individuals with a high LGO increased their intensity, and as a result, were more successful with reaching their goals. We always think stress is bad, but that's not the case. Feeling a moderate amount of stress can be very motivating."

"Job seekers can be trained to improve their LGO," co-researcher Serge da Motta Veiga said in a news release. "Such training could help them realize that the stress and failure they experience while searching for a job is not a bad thing, but instead represents an opportunity to learn from the process and determine how they can be successful at it."

The findings were published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

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