You’ll often find the word ‘attitude’ nestled in job descriptions and discussed by interviewers when making critical hiring decisions. The impression that you create can often be the difference between landing the job or coming a close second.
So why is attitude so important? Quite simply, it sets the tone from the moment you walk into the office. A proactive, helpful, can do attitude is a sure fire way to single yourself out as someone who people enjoy working with. Punctuality, looking the part, behaving professionally – these are all important parts of the image your project.
While a good mindset will serve you well throughout your career, it is perhaps most important when starting out. Perhaps fresh out of school or university, you’re entering an alien environment where everything is new. That’s when you need to rise to the challenge, soak up all the information you can, pick people’s brains and show that you’re a true team player.
Take every opportunity to upskill or attend industry events or conferences. Jump at the chance to learn new things, demonstrate your agility and appetite to improve. It’s important to not let your career stagnate, so look at ways you can add to your responsibilities and gain exposure to other people and areas of the business.
Managing your career
The most important person in helping you to advance your career is the person you report in to. Listen to the advice your manager gives you, take on board feedback and work on your self-awareness. Insist on having regular one-to-ones, and get into the habit of talking to them openly and honestly about any work issues. Think about you can help them with their responsibilities – is there anything you can take off their plate?
We all have to learn to say ‘no’ – we can’t always be on tap to help others. Just make sure it doesn’t become an engrained habit. You don’t want to be seen as the unhelpful person who never lends a hand. We’re all busy but there is no excuse for not being polite and friendly no matter what your day is like.
Having the right attitude makes a huge difference. We will have off days or times when we might be struggling, but a positive approach will go a long way and the benefits are far-reaching: it boosts your mental wellbeing, increases job satisfaction, influences how others perceive you, and importantly it will help you stand out and get ahead in your career.
As the legendary ad executive Paul Arden said (with a UK readership in mind), learn to make tea and do it willingly! A good attitude will endear you to others, and like a good cup of tea, it’s refreshing.
Morgan Philips’ new Agility Model helps organisations unlock the potential of individuals, teams and organisations.
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