Beware of negative people”Never accept someone’s negative opinion of you because it will drain you of your strength,” warns Sarina. “Have the positive attitude that whatever they say about you it is only their opinion.”

Quoting a well-known phrase she says, “It’s not what happens to you but what you do about it that counts.”

When as a child Ms Russo was teased for her Italian-style salami and Parmesan cheese sandwiches she didn’t dwell on whether the treatment was fair. She simply saved up her pocket money to buy a jar of vegemite to make her own sandwiches. When a bank turned her down for a loan to buy her first building – despite her success at that stage – she went to another bank.

Job seekers need to be well prepared

While a positive attitude is vital to the job hunt so is discipline, says Sarina.

“If you are going to an interview with a biscuit company then you need to research all you can about the company, the industry and their competitors. You need to give some thought to why you would be an asset to that particular organisation.”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

“When I started my school (in 1979) I was a fired legal secretary so I needed a qualified teacher to help me develop the curriculum. I am not threatened by someone having specialist skills I do not,” says Sarina.

“As a business leader, you need to have a group of talented people around you that represent different areas of expertise then you as the leader must unify that group as a team.”

However, Ms Russo says everyone needs help from time to time no matter what level they are out so don’t be afraid to ask for it whether it be from family, friends or colleagues.

Look the part

Dress the part. Make sure everything you wear is cleaned, iron and neat. Take care with your appearance. You don’t need to spend a fortune to ensure you hair looks good, your nail polish isn’t chipped and your good health shows on your face.

Be an A+ person

Do everything with energy and enthusiasm. Always answer the telephone with a smile so it will transfer to your voice. Use a firm handshake; deliver on your promises and value honesty and integrity.

Celebrate your wins

Sarina celebrates all her big wins at the Sarina Russo Group with lavish parties for staff. She urges individuals to reward themselves too whether that is a cheap and cheerful dinner with friends or a massage, facial or new piece of clothing.

Sarina Russo spoke to Kate Southam, editor of Go to for more career related articles. Send job hunting and workplace questions to

Sarina is also the author the motivational book: “Meet me at the top!” published by Crown Content.