Every motivational speaker, supervisor or written training book talks about the value of possessing a positive attitude in the workplace. In fact, many say that a positive attitude can do wonders for your career. What exactly do they mean? Over the coming weeks, we are going to investigate ways in which your work attitude can be negatively expressed, even if you are a positive and upbeat person. It doesnât sound possible, does it?
Youâve probably been schooled that saying “good morningâ and “good afternoonâ with a smile is critical to your success. That is only half of the story! You may have also been coached that “pushing up your faceâ, or otherwise making any indication of displeasure, is a demonstration of negative attitude. That, too, is still only half of the story. If you plan to keep your job (and especially if you plan to move forward), you need to do much more than smile, offer pleasant greetings and refrain from negative body language.
Your work attitude is really all about your approach to getting work done and your ability to interact with customers and co-workers in a way that is productive, pleasant, and exhibits excellence. When your approach fails to measure up to this criterion, your actions will be interpreted as a bad work attitude. Here is a good rule to remember.
Rule # 1: You have no job description.
One of the biggest mistakes many young employees make when they are hired is expecting to perform only those duties outlined in their job description. In todayâs economy, job descriptions are simply guidelines companies use to define general areas of responsibility. It does not mean that you wonât be asked to perform other tasks absent from your job description. In fact, it works to your advantage to widen your skill level at every opportunity, even if itâs not part of your regular obligations. Having the added experience will look great on your resumÃ© and serve as an indicator to upper-level management that you are serious about career advancement. There may also be a time when an assignment needs to be accomplished that seems to be below your skill level. If you are available and capable, step up to the plate and operate like a true team player. The situation might be that a manager needs to complete the duties of an absent junior associate, or maybe team members are pitching in to do “dirtyâ jobs that are not part of their regular profession.
As an employee, you should go out of your way to perform not only the jobs you were assigned in your job description, but whatever tasks are needed to get the job done! Failure to chip in will earn you the reputation of possessing a bad work attitude.
Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.â For a FREE
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