Change Your Attitudes As You Prepare for Re-Entry

Studies show that nearly 90 percent of the population is either unwilling or unable to make changes in their behavior. Even those who spend a great deal of money on programs to help them lose weight, stop smoking, or give up alcohol tend to return to their old behaviors after they leave their support groups. And we know that 70 percent of ex-offenders return to prison within three years of release!

So what do you need to do in order to break bad habits and change your behavior for good? Start with your attitudes that are important motivators for doing what you do, and associate with a positive support group.

If you have negative attitudes and often make excuses for your behavior, you are probably an unhappy person. It's time you took control of both your attitudes and behaviors.

To do this, first identify several of your negative attitudes and try to transform them into positive attitudes. As you do this, you will begin to identify the positive person you want to be.

Examine these sets of negative and positive attitudes that can arise at various stages of the job search, especially during the critical job interview:                         
Negative AttitudePositive Attitude
I've just got out of prison and need a job.While incarcerated, I turned my life around by getting my GED, learning new skills, and controlling my anger. I'm really excited about becoming a landscape architect and working with your company.
I didn't like my last employer.It was time for me to move on to a more progressive company.
I haven't been able to find a job in over three months. I really want this one.I've been learning a great deal in the past several weeks of my job search.
My last two jobs were problems.I learned a great deal about what I really love to do from those last two jobs.

You'll find numerous books, audiotapes, videos, and software specializing in developing positive thinking. Most are designed to transform the thinking and perceptions of individuals by changing negative attitudes.

One of the major themes underlying these products is that you can change your life through positive thinking. Individuals whose lives are troubled, for example, can literally transform themselves by changing their thinking in new and positive directions.

These products are especially popular with people in sales careers who must constantly stay motivated and positive in the face of making cold calls that result in numerous rejections. Positive thinking helps them get through the day, the week, and the month despite numerous rejections that would normally dissuade most people from continuing to pursue more sales calls that result in even more rejections.

Click here for a "Tip" that lists books on self-transformation!

SOURCE: Adapted from Ron and Caryl Krannich, Ph.Ds, The Ex-Offender's Job Hunting Guide (Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications). Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.