Making headway in our careers – no matter how senior we are – is exhilarating. But it can also be exhausting and leave some of us feeling downtrodden or discouraged.

But why is this? There’s no denying that serious professional and personal development work goes into career progression, along with gruelling schedules balancing the day job and ambition.

However, that feeling of being stuck is often a matter of attitude. After all, as a senior leader, you’ll have a track record of achievements. So why is your career progression falling flat?

You may need to inject a little positive thinking into your mindset! A positive attitude can be a real divider when it comes to professional success and can improve confidence, relationships and the speed at which you achieve your goals.

In this Intuitive Masterclass, we explore how career progression can be accelerated by embracing positive thinking.


A positive mindset doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

We don’t mean to say that there are many of us spreading doom and gloom in the workplace. In fact, truly negative people are rather rare, thankfully! Instead, we mean that for many of us, our default response to new information or ideas is a “no”:

  • “No, it’s not possible”.
  • “No, now’s not the right time”.
  • “No, they’d never buy into that”.

Being positive in the workplace, especially in relation to our careers, requires a conscious effort to control our responses and perceptions. We need to rewire our brains to not fixate on obstacles as if they are binary, but instead, consider alternative possibilities.

For example, you may feel that you’re too busy to pursue a mentorship with a highly insightful senior colleague, despite knowing that the experience would mature an underdeveloped but critical leadership skill. When given the opportunity, you say “no I can’t, my diary is too full”.

Positive thinkers will interpret the scenario differently. They may think, “although I can’t do multiple sessions a month due to a strategic deadline, I can commit to a single session. I’ll explain this to my potential mentor and understand if we can redefine the scope”.

Or perhaps they’ll think, “this mentorship opportunity is the missing piece in achieving my progression goals and must be a priority. I’ll pause my less urgent workgroup commitments and arrange for a qualified colleague to take my place temporarily”.

Can you spot the differences between these three responses?

It’s easy to see the difference between fixed thinking and more open, positive thinking. Learning how to counter obstacles with positive thinking allows us to find opportunity in everything and as such, power a dynamic upward career trajectory.

Rewiring your brain to harness positive thinking is also helpful for handling bumps in the road as you navigate career progression.

They say that the only thing we can truly control is how we react – and it’s hard to disagree! Make a promise to yourself that you’ll reframe constructive criticism as a personal learning experience. We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.


When progressing our careers, it can sometimes feel like we spend more time sizing up others’ successes than celebrating our own.

Comparison, when undertaken through a lens of positivity, curiosity, and learning, can be helpful. Sure, it can help us better understand our place in the world today. But it can also be damaging – distorting our value, discrediting our hard work, and casting doubt on our career trajectories.

However, with a positive mindset in tow, you’ll never be unsure of your worth.

At Intuitive, we love the mantra, “I don’t care who is doing better than me. I am doing better than I was last year. It’s me vs me”. It reminds us to pay attention to how we think about ourselves, and how we measure value – even when faced with LinkedIn feeds, social media posts, and an evolving roster of top positions.

Maintaining a positive attitude by constantly evaluating your (little and big!) wins will build your resiliency to the stressors of a career progression journey, while providing you with a bursting book of success reference points.

In short, believe in yourself and you’ll believe that you deserve to achieve your career goals. In a Transport sector that’s changing so rapidly, it’s easy for leadership candidates to assume they’re missing a skill or characteristic. Confidence, though, will empower you to stand up for your value and make leaps in your best interest – be it developing an authentic personal brand, reverse mentoring or applying to a role without comparable role models.


We often encourage clients and candidates to widen their horizons. In our experience, doing so connects under-the-radar, exceptional talent to leadership roles that had not been considered an option.

And this principle of challenging what you know – perhaps what you’re comfortable with – is central to positive thinking. In a nutshell, change is good.

Much like negative thinking can drag us down, positive thinking can propel us into a place of momentum whereby the possibilities are plentiful. In the context of progressing your leadership career, positive thinking can have a real impact on your potential for success.

By expanding our horizons, we simultaneously expand our expectations and thus our room for improvement. Take this recent experience with a candidate. Let’s call them Candidate Positive! Candidate Positive had spotted a leadership career opportunity that presented an operational challenge they’d absolutely relish – and they were more than qualified for. However, when mentioning the role to a colleague, they’d been met with hesitation. Why was this?

Candidate Positive had established their career in a different – but well-aligned – sector. Their colleague worried that without a practised blueprint, Candidate Positive would struggle to succeed.

But our candidate wasn’t fazed. They simply saw the role as an opportunity to stretch their wings further – challenging expectations and exploring progression in a wider arena.

Despite their work ethic, experience and skill, without a positive attitude, Candidate Positive would have overlooked a unique opportunity for professional growth. If you’ve ever found negativity creeping in when scoping your next career move, let us say one thing. Your greatest professional days are still ahead.

Ready to make search consultancy an experience to smile about? View our brochure here to hear from candidates and clients who team up with Intuitive time and time again.

WE would love to get to know you!

Please do give us a call, drop us a message or follow us on Twitter & Linkedin!

Related blogs

Read more Read more
Inclusive Leadership Resources

Missed our Inclusive Leadership Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Growing Senior Transport Roles to Consider in Recruitment Plans

We detail the growing c-suite positions you should account for in your recruitment strategies or may want to pursue as a leadership candidate.

Read more Read more
Guide to Interim Leadership Assignments in Transport

Read our guide to get a fresh insight into successful interim recruitment in the transport industry.

Read more Read more
Knowing if and When Interim Leadership Is Right for You

For many senior professionals, interim management is the most rewarding career path imaginable – but contract work isn’t for everyone.

Read more Read more
CV Rules and Best Practices for Senior Leaders

How you can take your CV from a tell-all list to a marketing tool that increases your chance of securing an interview.

Read more Read more
Diversity in Transport Report

Learn how your Transport organisation can benefit from enhanced Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in its teams with our exclusive Diversity in Transport Report – the 2023 edition.

Read more Read more
Video: Nina Reflects on 10 Years of Intuitive

Founder and Director Nina Lockwood reflects on the last ten years of Intuitive and shares her thoughts on recruitment and the transport industry.

Celebrating ten years of Intuitive Recruitment
Read more Read more
Video: Ten Years of Intuitive

Intuitive’s first decade has been magical. Here are the highlights, from bringing new faces into the sector to hosting a hit podcast and winning Executive Recruitment Agency of the Year.

Intuitive 2022 Year in Review
Read more Read more
Video: Our 2022 Wrap Up

2022 has certainly been a fantastic year for Intuitive. So to celebrate, we’ve packed our highlights into a short wrap-up video.

Read more Read more
Infographic: Sector Switching – How to Figure out the Right Fit?

Could a different sector be a better fit for your career priorities and progression goals? This 7-step plan can help you decide.

Read more Read more
Get what you need from Interviews Without being Script-Bound

We share six steps for developing an interview approach that gets what you need from leadership candidate interviews, without relying on a script.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 2 – In-Person Interviews

In-person interviews are far more fluid than they used to be – especially for senior leaders. Here are four ways to adapt your interview style for senior leadership positions.

Read more Read more
Adapting Your Interview Style: Part 1 – Video

As video interviews have grown, so have expectations of how candidates use virtual tools. Here’s how to adapt your interview style for virtual spaces.

Read more Read more
Making LinkedIn an Irreplaceable Career Progression Tool

We share our tried-and-true seven-step strategy for making LinkedIn an irreplaceable tool in your career progression journey.

Read more Read more
Hallmarks of Ads that Attract the Strongest Candidates

Discover four fundamental features of senior leadership job adverts that attract the strongest Transport candidates.

Read more Read more
Allyship in Transport Resources

Missed our Allyship in Transport Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights or watch the full session here.

Read more Read more
Building an Employer Value Proposition That Evolves with Candidate Expectations

While you can’t predict what’s to come, adjusting your strategic approach with an evolving EVP can ensure it always delivers what matters.

Read more Read more
Building a Personal Brand That’s Instantly Memorable

How do you curate a personal brand that’s true to you but still has career progression prowess?

Read more Read more
How To Have Authentic Conversations With Candidates

Authentic conversations help uncover the real person behind an impressive CV, and are paramount to matching the right candidate with the right enterprise.

Read more Read more
Weighing Up A New Role: Three Questions To Ask

We share three fantastic questions that every transport leadership candidate should ask during the interview process. Revealing answers are guaranteed!

Read more Read more
Workplace Belonging Resources

Missed our Workplace Belonging Knowledge Session? Catch up on the highlights and download our resources here.

Read more Read more
Intuitive proudly announce our CPT membership

Intuitive will be teaming up with the CPT to connect bus and coach organisations with exceptional leadership professionals.

leadership potential
Read more Read more
Ways to Identify Leadership Potential Outside Your Sector

How can your transport organisation tap into cross-sectoral talent and identify leadership potential? We explore strategies for finding talent and 5 specific characteristics to look for.

transport sector
Read more Read more
How Transport Can Be a Successful Force for Change

Why connecting with clients with candidates from outside of the transport sector is important and how it can benefit your organisation. We share 4 interesting advantages.

Read more Read more
Reverse Mentoring: Why it’s Important to the Transport Sector

Reverse mentoring empowers less senior, younger, or more unconventional employees to share their knowledge and experience with more senior, conventional, and oftentimes older colleagues.

Read more Read more
How to Challenge Unconscious Bias in the Recruitment Process

Unconscious bias has been associated with career challenges for those from diverse backgrounds, and when left unchecked, can affect workplace inclusivity.

Read more Read more
Why Your EVP will Turn the Tide on Recruitment Challenges

Putting your employer value proposition at the heart of your recruitment strategy can set you up for long and short term success.

Read more Read more
4 Ways to Have a Positive Mindset in Your Role

In the workplace and as a leader, a positive mindset is important not just for job satisfaction, but for being effective and driving change.

ed&i knowledge session transport
Read more Read more
Become an ED&I Agent of Change

Practical resources to help you drive change and opportunity for diverse talent in transport.

Read more Read more
Unveiling the 90 Day Accelerator Programme

Nina and Founder and Director of Metisblue Laurent Bouvier introduce the exclusive and focused 90 Day Accelerator Programme.

Blog Title Card: Nina on Inspirational Women in Recruitment
Read more Read more
Hear Nina on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment Podcast

Nina recently featured on the Inspirational Women in Recruitment podcast, revealing her approach to attracting and engaging talent and more.

Skills for the transport sector
Read more Read more
How to Match Transport Candidates Beyond the Job Description

Whether recruiting as an internal team or with a Talent Consultancy, our tips can help you match high-level roles with the best in transport.

Blog Title Card: Transport Diversity and Inclusion
Read more Read more
Can Diversity and Inclusion Tackle Transport’s Challenges?

Diversity of thought, perspective and experience allows innovation to thrive, and for the best ideas to win. Discover how in our infographic.

Blog Title Card: In-Demand Skills for Transport
Read more Read more
5 Key Transferable and Desirable Skills for the Transport Sector

Discover the top five in-demand transferable skills relevant to high-level roles in the transport sector, based on feedback from our clients.