Decades ago there used to be an implied contract between the employer and the employee. The employee would exhibit loyalty and have long tenure, while the employer did their best to keep the employee happy and employed.
We live in a very different world today, one in which employers made the first move to destroy that common trust that was once shared between employer and employee. For employees to survive without getting taken advantage of they need to be:
Posess strong skills and abilities that carry across companies
Self-training (employers used to train employees, not anymore, that is your responsibility now)
And most importantly ...
Maintaining a skeptical yet positive attitude when dealing with employers is the best mindset to adopt. Being skeptical and secretly questioning what is being told to you by your employer is the best way to avoid being caught off guard, and also to begin noticing patterns of unethical and mischievous behavior to prepare for when the employer is probably going to attempt to take advantage of you.
Our global society has adopted the nearly universal mindset that competition is the single most important drive towards the human good that can be, or has ever existed for all time forever and ever, despite if you believe it or not. Competition had the unfortunate side-effect however that employees can no longer trust that employers will make committments to anybody but their shareholders anymore for short term profits.
Acceptance that the employer has no committment to you will help you focus on concrete facts, legal agreements and contracts as the means to ensure that your employer will do right by you, and you will have it on paper exactly what you should come to expect from that relationship.
DO NOT take a verbal promise from an employer seriously. If it is not on paper, signed, and possibly notarized then the agreement does not exist. Don't be disappointed if it doesn't work out.
ALWAYS HAVE SOME POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES IN ARMS REACH! It is hard to know when working for that employer will become unbearable, so the most empowering way to protect yourself from employer abuse is to constantly have one foot out of the door. I like to keep close relationships with former coworkers and business owners and at any one time I have at least a couple of openings that I could interview for immediately.
Employers may no longer give us dignity or respect, but if we work hard at it, then we should put our freedom as the single most important ability to work for in our careers.
Positive Mind Set
This comes with understanding and comprehension of how to best maintain control of your carreer in a chaotic unfriendly world. Achieving that career freedom, mobility, and independence is empowering and is the single thing that will give you a positive mind set.
You can't depend on an employer to give you a positive mind set, you will always be disappointed and depressed if you do.