Your attitude at work affects your productivity and those around you. It can also change the trajectory of your career. We know you can’t always be “sunny,” but if you’ve been in a slump for a while, it might be time to take stock. The “good/bad attitude” umbrella has a lot of components. Take a look at a few of them.
- Self-doubt – Confidence plays a big part in jobs and careers. From tackling new projects to building important business connections, believing in yourself puts you at ease and creates a positive energy that draws people to you. Give yourself some credit. You must be awesome—you’re even reading a self-help article! (Still working on your confidence? Read this article.)
- Fear of failure – Risk taking and failure are part of learning and bosses and organizations know this. Of course, you should use good reasoning when considering making a leap. And if it’s a workplace risk you’re attempting and you’re worried about your boss’s reaction, remember to keep him or her in the loop. Discuss your reasoning—the pros and cons you’ve carefully considered beforehand. (To know more about failing well, read this article.)
- Inflexibility – Change is part of any innovative business, and if you have a strangle hold on old procedures and tasks, your career will stay grounded. Try to take a more rational (rather than emotional) view of change by looking at it as objectively as possible. Carefully consider why the change is happening and what it will mean to you. How can you be better prepared for it? Can you have a say in the change? What are you really afraid of? Consider this quote from authors James Belasco and Ralph Stayer: “Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”
- Procrastination – Habitually putting off tasks causes delays around you. Don’t be the cause of stagnant productivity. Sure, we all let a project slide now and then, with little consequence. That’s normal. But when you notice that people are repeatedly calling and emailing you because of a late project, you may have let things slide too far. (To learn more about procrastination, read it here.)
- Technophobia – Don’t let yourself get left behind. Learn the technology. It’s going to keep advancing and evolving and building on itself. You can keep asking the people around you to help you do things, but that makes you dependent. Figure many things out on your own by experimenting, doing a Google search or for the big stuff—taking a class. You’re more likely to remember if you find answers yourself. Take a deep breath, jump in and keep up. (For more advice, here’s an article.)
- Entitlement – For many of us, we have to work hard to get the things we want. What we expect and what we’ve earned may not quite match up. Feeling entitled doesn’t make you a bad person, but it’s not a helpful attitude at work. You are special. You are awesome. But, a feeling of entitlement can quickly turn into a bad attitude when you don’t get what you expect. Keep your head up and continue being assertive. Point out accomplishments. But keep your expectations realistic.
- Being antisocial – This is for you, introverts. Everyone has to push past discomfort in the workplace (different things for different people). Only by practicing social skills will you become more comfortable making small talk, chatting with your boss and getting to know the new members of your team. Don’t skip company events. Building key relationships takes effort and face time. And those relationships make it easier to accomplish things at work. If this is hard for you, try considering it as a part of your job. (For help making small talk, check out this article.)
- Complaining – There are two kinds of complaining—instrumental and expressive. Instrumental complaining is done in the hopes of bringing about change. Expressive complaining is done to get sympathy or something off our chest. Disliking co-workers, your boss, your organization, certain tasks, certain clients is normal. But, you don’t have to let everyone know all the time. If you feel better after you complain or are able to bring about change, your complaining is effective. If not, it might simply a habit that your co-workers are forced to endure. Try being kindly assertive about things you don’t like instead … or try to catch yourself and stop complaining when you can. (Find out more about complaining here.)
You, and only you, are in control of your attitude. Making positive changes starts with a little self-analysis followed by a concerted effort to be objective … and hopefully, see the bright side.