The Advantages of Being a Goldfish

By Gary Williams on March 21, 2023 at 4:00pm

By Gary Williams, Ph.D., Talent Director, Management Resources, Robert Half

“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory.”

— Ted Lasso

That’s a quote from the Ted Lasso television series about an American football coach hired to coach soccer in England. The character has an unwaveringly positive attitude that’s contagious and motivating for both the team he coaches and the people he works alongside.

Finding inspiration through a goldfish may seem like a stretch on the surface. And yet, there is something within this concept that is very applicable to recruiters and job seekers alike.

Throughout all my years working in college athletics as an administrator and football coach, I can tell you that the challenge is real to keep your highs and lows balanced. Spend too long thinking about the past, whether it be a success or a challenge, and you will likely never see or be prepared for what’s coming next.

Using the goldfish approach also applies to looking for your next job. I can relate to it as I think about my own journey and those of the candidates and clients I work with in my job as a recruiter at Robert Half.

Recruiters go through a roller coaster of emotions during their candidates’ job search process, the status of which can change literally within a matter of minutes. So, you need to learn how to keep an even keel.

Job candidates, too, can feel like the job search process is a never-ending cycle of hurry-up-and-wait, only to potentially never know your status. Approaching a job search with a goldfish mentality and leaning on a trusted recruiter can go a long way toward helping you stay positive and motivated during those challenging moments.


Whether you’re frustrated over being ghosted or the real struggles of navigating a toxic company culture, the negativity of coworkers or even the praise of previous successes that so often lull us into a false sense of security, challenge yourself to approach your job search like a goldfish.

Next time you encounter an emotion, remember you get 10 seconds to ride your high or low. Then, it’s time to move on. The next opportunity is right around the corner.

Keep your focus on the present; that’s how you continue to work toward becoming better than you were before.

Looking for some assistance in navigating the job search waters? Learn more about how Robert Half can help.

Follow Gary Williams on LinkedIn.

Your Ultimate Job Search App and More

Link: Get it on Google Play
Link: Download on the App Store

More From the Blog...