Gratitude: one of the best tools for job hunting

Let me start by saying thank you for joining me here.

Gratitude is not just a hoaky, feel-good mantra - it’s a real tool that, practiced regularly, can change your life.

In this episode, Facundo and I talk about why gratitude matters, how it has helped me get over the worst times in my life (losing my job, my dog being attacked, losing my mom to cancer) and how you can get started practicing it today.

I promise, there’s magic to be discovered by giving thanks to the people and circumstances you’re in right now, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Show Notes

What is gratitude, anyway? I’m already kind of grateful, so why should I care? [1:23]

“You’re either known for the things you hate, or the things you love” - Facundo, dropping some wisdom [2:22]

When positive people are in your life, they energize you [2:43]

“Gratitude is the best attitude” - (I forget who told me this) [3:34]

Let’s rewind through the tough moments of my life, starting with being fired [3:56]

Everyone has something to be grateful for, even in the smallest instances. Take breathing, for example. Your body is keeping you alive on auto-pilot [5:05]

Everyone has also gone through monumental trauma. Nobody gets out unscarred [5:39]

You can sit, wallow and let it be the thing that defines you (known for things you’re unhappy about) or you can make the choice to take stock in the positive things in your life [6:31]

Other big traumas I’ve gone through: my dog, Sundae, was attacked twice by a neighbour’s dog - forcing me to move and forfeit the neighbourhood I loved [7:19]

My mom lost an 18-month battle to cancer and it was something that could have stopped me from ever growing again [8:17]

I went through all the terrible emotions, but got myself into therapy and made a promise to myself to get past the trauma [8:49]

These moments sucked and drained my positivity, but it forced me to do something about it - so I bought Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss [9:05]

I approached the book really negatively at first. What could these rich, high-performers ever teach me? So I decided I was going to anger-read-it [10:20]

Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote the foreword and it really struck a chord for me, that we succeed because of the help we get from others (paraphrased; full quote below') [11:02]

“… how can I ever claim to be self-made? To accept that mantle discounts every person and every piece of advice that got me here. And it gives the wrong impression — that you can do it alone. I couldn’t. And odds are, you can’t either.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger

James Avery, TV’s lovable Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is one of Facundo’s idol’s and another great example of succeeding because of others (at least, his character does) [11:35]

Did you know he was also the voice of Shredder in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon? [11:48]

The story, according to Facundo, goes that Will (Smith) wants to pay for something himself and not take Uncle Phil’s help - but Uncle Phil insists that help from others is how he’s been able to make it so far [12:07]

Be humble enough to let people help you [13:44]

Back to the book, Tools of Titans, one of my ]key take-aways was how Tim Ferriss practices gratitude by journaling and I’ve since adopted his method (with some alterations) to make it my own [13:59]

What I do in my journal: I write 3 things that were awesome about yesterday and 1-3 things I would have done differently. It forced you to think critically about your day [14:29]

Even on the worst days, if you really put your mind to it, you can find 3 things that were ok. No day is entirely terrible [14:57]

Next, I write 3 things I’m grateful for right now in this moment. You have to be specific, likeI’m grateful for Producer Facundo helping me with this podcast [15:02] 🙏

Over time, you’ll start to discover that all these wonderful things are happening in the background and your day’s not so bad after all. You have a lot to be grateful for [16:46]

When I was managing through my dog’s attack, I wasn’t in a great headspace. But I can be grateful that my dog is still alive, that she’s healed, I can be grateful for her companionship and more [17:22]

Everything we perceive, that’s just the way we think about it. But there are so many processes happening in the sub-conscious, influencing that perception. But guess what? You can re-wire your mind to see the good [18:26]

How Facundo processes his depression and feeling “I don’t deserve to be happy.” You begin to stew in it and it’s so easy to miss the forest for the trees [19:38]

Nothing is ever all bad or all good. It’s a balance [20:35]

Negative circumstances can pile up and create negative momentum, but there’s always some good to be discovered [21:02]

For example, having an internet connection or working laptop. Have you ever tried to job hunt without a working laptop? Not fun [21:27]

You don’t know how grateful you should be for a working body until you sprain your toe [21:53] 🤕

I love being able to take walks with Sundae - even when she wakes me up at 4am - so I’m grateful for the body I have and my ability to walk [23:10]

Once you open your awareness to positivity, you start to see the opportunities and you really surprise yourself [24:28]

Let me tell you about the unsuccessful interview I had with a tech startup. I could have been salty about not getting the job, but I took the high road and practiced gratitude - which led to incredible results [24:51]

I asked for feedback and got it - they gave me the list of skills to work on and suggested courses. I wouldn’t have gotten that had I not been open to gratitude [28:12]

Facundo took a business call between episodes from a casting agent who wanted to thank him for the thank you card that Facundo sent him [29:09]

Facundo’s gratitude towards casting agents, directors and more, has led to many great gigs and opportunities (all from a hand-written note.) [29:58]

Shout out to Kevin Saffer [32:02] 🙌

Now Facundo is known as that guy who delivers hand-written notes, which leads to jobs he doesn’t even have to audition for [32:30] 📝

To end the story of my tech-startup interview, I ultimately landed a freelance client through them, that paid me more money and allowed me to work from home [33:11]

Just because a contract with a client has ended, doesn’t mean the relationship has ended [35:00]

If you can, invest in thank you cards. You can purchase them at any book or stationery store. Sending a hand-written note carries so much weight after meaningful interactions [37:16]

Thank you emails are the lowest bar that everyone should be doing (and unfortunately don’t.) Always. Send. Thank you. Emails. [38:40]

If hand-writing, don’t just sign your name on a pre-printed card. Make mention of a joke, interaction - something that will keep building on the relationship [39:18]

Thank you cards are an investment in you. Why not use an online printer to get custom ones made? Great personal branding opportunity. I’ve used Vistaprint in the past [40:02]

I was recently talking to a friend of mine, Allison, about ‘thank you’ fatigue: should she send a thank you email? She doesn’t want to bug or annoy the interviewer (this seems to be a common thougth among job-seekers) [40:55]

Fact: No one is going to reject you from a job for sending a thank you email (meaning, always send a thank you email) [41:48]

Thank the HR Coordinator who phone-screened you. Thank the hiring manager. Thank the team you met, if you have their emails - if not, ask politely for their emails. Thank your friend who sent you the job opportunity in the first place. THANK EVERYONE [42:08]

Everyone has something (or someone) to be grateful for. I’m routinely thankful for coffee, specifically Americanos from Starbucks [43:28] ☕️

It’s easy to take things for granted because of creature comforts [44:16]

Flint, Michigan is still boiling their water because they can’t drink from the taps [44:37] 🚰

In most developed areas, there are no riots, wars or worse. Having a roof over your head is plenty to be thankful for right now [45:13]

Take a look at what your life looked like before. 15 years ago, I was managing a quick-serve restaurant, making minimum wage, had bills from school and feeling lost [47:08]

I’m not the same person I used to be. Though things might not seem great right now, I’m still so glad I am where I am [48:20]

A lot of my accomplishments are thanks to people who have been kind to me, lifted me up and helped me move forward [48:40]

Last year when job hunting, everyone saw on the outside how positive I was, but I’m human - I’m not immune to feelings of sadness, anger, depression and anxiety [49:15]

Somehow, I discovered something super cool and motivational: the 1 Love Podcast, by Disco [50:16]

Every day at 6am he just talks about what he’s grateful for. I could count on him. I was grateful for not being alone [50:43]

I mention a study in the 20’s saying that happiness is love, full-stop (I butchered the quote and got the timeline wrong, but it’s a Harvard stud here I was trying to quote - TL;DR people who love and are in relationships or communities are happier, and happier people live longer) [51:35]

Disco also sings! He sings a song about Toronto at the end of each podcast (and he sounds a little like Karl Wolf) [52:23]

Sidebar: Gimlet Media (*ahem - Alex Blumberg) if you find this podcast, we’re open to partnerships [52:51] 💰

Anyway, Disco - one person - made a difference for me. If you think you have no impact, you’re wrong [53:04]

His podcast has spun into new opportunities and now he’s a marketer with his own agency 1 Love Sales & Marketing [53:36]

Gratitude breeds opportunity [54:41]

Don’t absolve yourself and say that life isn’t fair. You can’t sit there and be angry at the world for life, being life [56:30]

I’m choosing to be positive and to work through my issues [56:49]

Absolutely. 100%. As well, too. Facundo and I will work on getting better at speaking words [57:26]

No reason why you can’t start practicing gratitude now. Write 3 things that were awesome about yesterday and 3 things you’re grateful for. Go, write it on your phone now [57:57]

Also, call your mom, call your dad [58:52] ❤️

Links & Resources

Sundae, our Chief Happiness Officer

Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foreword in Tools of Titans

James Avery on Wikipedia

How Tim Ferriss journals and practices gratitude

Managing negative momentum and creating positive momentum

Looking for custom-printed thank you cards? Vistaprint is a good option

Kevin Saffer, Founder and Executive Producer, HeydSaffer

1 Love Podcast, by Disco (available on most podcasting platforms)

Harvard study, almost 80 years old, has proved that embracing community helps us live longer, and be happier

Gimlet Media is a podcasting powerhouse and you might find other content of theirs interesting

Disco’s agency, 1 Love Sales & Marketing

Richard Gawlas