Sometimes, work can feel like an endless game of survival mode. You wake up early, get the kids ready for school (or the pets ready for daycare), rush to the office, answer emails, and immerse yourselves in meetings. By the time you look up at the clock, it’s already noon, and your to-do list is still endless. Goodbye lunch break.
The next time you look up, it’s already dark. Tomorrow is already almost here, and your to-do list is still endless.
When you’re swamped—and the bulk of your interactions happens across a computer screen— it can be tough to remember the bigger picture of your role: in a world of tech professionals looking to level-up their careers, you are someone’s hero. All your hard work matters more than you realize.
Your hidden superpowers as a recruiter
With every offer that you extend, you’re transforming someone’s life, boosting confidence, and opening doors to new career adventures. It’s these moments that remind you why you love your job in the first place. When you feel this love, it’s hard not to spread this positivity to others. After all, emotions are contagious—and as a recruiter, you’re a company culture jedi, spreading happiness like a force.
So how do you bring more of these moments of positive energy to your job and the people around you? After all, the number of offers that you extend, ultimately, are few and far between. For every person that you hire, there are 10 more that you need to reject. That’s a part of your role that never becomes easy.
But the answer is simpler than you think. How many times in a day do you say “thank you?” How many times do you say “thank you” and actually mean it—to convey a sense of meaning and gratitude beyond superficial words?
- “Thank you, Maya, for the contributions that you make to the open source community.”
- “Thank you, Reggie, for all the time that you spend volunteering for local governments in your community.”
- “Thank you, Wei, for all the time that you spend blogging, speaking at conferences, and mentoring new graduates.”
- “Thank you, Sheena, for being such an attentive hiring manager—every candidate has shared positive feedback about your attentiveness and amazing attitude through the interview process.”
Why gratitude matters in business and life
The practice of gratitude is known to have positive effects on peoples’ health and well-being. With roots that run deep in evolutionary history, gratitude has the potential to strengthen relationships. According to recent neuroscience research from the University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good Institute, gratitude also has the potential to rewire human brains—making us happier and healthier humans.
Another research from Harvard University confirms this finding.
“Something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing,” Harvard researcher and author Shawn Achor has told Inc.com.
Other studies have found that gratitude boosts willpower, encourages calmness, and boosts employee morale.
To validate these findings, a research team at Indiana University studied a group of subjects suffering from anxiety and depression through a series of writing exercises and corresponding brain scans.
“The participants who’d completed the gratitude task months earlier not only reported feeling more gratefulness two weeks after the task than members of the control group, but also, months later, showed more gratitude-related brain activity in the scanner. The researchers described these ‘profound’ and ‘long-lasting’ neural effects as ‘particularly noteworthy,'” psychology writer Christian Jarrett explains on the Science of Us blog.”
To learn more about the effects of gratitude on the human mind, check out the following resources:
- Gratitude Physically Changes Your Brain, New Study Says (Jessica Stillman, Inc)
- How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain (Greater Good Institute at UC Berkeley)
- 14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude According to Science (Positive Psychology)
- Gratitude Practice Explained (Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence)
- In Praise of Gratitude (Harvard Medical School)
5 ideas to express more gratitude, in micro-moments every day
The practice of gratitude extends beyond saying “thank you” every once in a while. Rather, it’s about changing the way that you think and relate to the world around you. It’s about taking seconds out of your day, every day, to express positive emotions either out-loud to fellow humans or within your own mind, silently.
One way to contextualize the practice of gratitude is through a framework that Think with Google has brought to the field of advertising. Studying how consumers engage with ads, Google found that buyer journeys revolved around micro-moments, “intent rich moments when a person turns to a device to act on a need—to know, go, do, or buy.”
As with shopping, moments on the job are also decision-rich. As a recruiter, every moment that you spend influences both your company’s bottom line and the people who you are lucky enough to call your colleagues.
Here are 5 simple ways to bring more gratitude to your life as a recruiter, every day:
- If you ever find yourself stressed, frustrated, or in a bad mood, take a pause. In a moment when you feel a negative emotion, re-route your thinking to a time when you felt grateful about the thing that’s making you feel negative. Write down 3 things for which you are thankful. If you don’t have the time or attention span to write, just close your eyes, and say “thank you” in your mind.
- Write more thank-you notes. When you complete a conversation with a person who you’re considering hiring, don’t just send a transactional email. As Harvard Medical School puts it, “express your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life.”
- If you’re interacting with a person who you’re focused on recruiting, think about the ways that this individual inspires you. Research conference talks they’ve given, code they’ve written, and projects to which they’ve contributed. Research the impact and significance of this work. Tell the person why they inspire you.
- Keep a journal with you. If you’re having a bad day or experiencing an influx of negativity, write down 3 things that went well. Continue this practice on an ongoing basis until you are able to fully quiet the negative ruminations in your mind.
- If you find yourself feeling dissatisfied with a candidate, situation, or hiring manager, flip your perspective. Think about how that negative trait is a positive. Is someone following up with you persistently? Perhaps this constant communication seems annoying or isn’t your style. Think about how that persistence can be a positive quality—for instance, to push a difficult project through when working with a time-strapped, fast-moving, cross-functional team.
Over time, these practices will become consistent habits in your life. The happier you become, the more you’ll spread these contagions to others in your life. The ecosystem around you begins with you. The best version of you comes from the stories you tell yourself. When you tell yourself positive stories, those thoughts become magnets for things and people.
With gratitude for your contributions to tech,
P.S. If you find the information from this resource helpful, please share it with more people on your team, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, and with your networks of recruiters.
P.P.S. We care about diversity, inclusion, and respecting pronouns. We thought that the quotes below would hit home with humans of all walks of life. We love to push communication boundaries with our content, respectfully. If you’d ever like to see a change in our communication style, please let us know.