Unless you are a super star athlete, you won’t get very far in a career with a poor attitude. In fact, attitude is often ranked as the most important factor when employers rank criteria that are important to them.
Attitude is not one of those things that will get you ahead in a career, but it is something that will get you fired. Another way of saying this is that everyone is expected to have the kind of attitude an employer wants or they won’t keep their job.
What does a good attitude mean to an employer? Here’s some indicators:
- The willingness to take on new assignments with enthusiasm
- The willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done without complaining
- A positive receptivity to new directions and initiatives
- A cheerful demeanor
- The ability to see each setback as a challenge and a learning experience
Imagine yourself in a job. How would you do on each of these? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you a whiner who sees a problem in everything you are asked to do?
- Do you snarl at others, especially in the morning?
- Does a bad grade get you in the dumps and you take out your frustrations on others?
- Do you resist trying out new things?
If you are honest, you probably would say yes to some of these. Here’s how you can improve your attitude.
- Be around cheerful people. Cheerfulness is infectious. Being around whiners will just bring you down.
- Make setbacks a learning experience – whenever you have a setback, do a debriefing of the situation. Do this in writing; because when you write it down, it tends to reveal things you wouldn’t otherwise see. Then write down what you can learn from this.
- Control your sleep patterns – you want to be able to wake up and be ready to go. A lot of displays of poor attitudes come from being overly tired.
- Learn everyday. At the end of each day, ask yourself: “what did I learn today?” Make a list of these things. You’ll gradually realize that you really are a lot more receptive to new ideas or assignments because it gives you a chance to build your intellectual capital.
- Become a role model. One of the greatest feelings is to have others look up to you. One way to do this is to demonstrate a can-do approach to every assignment. When others see you as someone who is committed to success, you will start thinking of the model you set for them. And that further reinforces your can do approach.
Attitude may seem like one of those nebulous qualities that people talk about, but never say what they mean by attitude. The reality is that good attitudes and poor attitudes are easy to distinguish..