BIMBeing: The Journey #29
#29 – Attitude is everything…
Photo by Meo from Pexels
It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at on your career path, attitude is absolutely everything. Whether you’re a graduate looking to start your career or a senior manager chasing the next promotion, you won’t be getting anywhere without the ‘right’ attitude. People often make reference to having this, but what’s considered ‘right’?
There will of course be varying opinions, as with any qualitative subject, however in this case opinions typically converge around the same requirements. Our attitude influences absolutely everything that we do and say, and how we do or say it, so it’s a very big deal. Most importantly, you can’t teach attitude. No amount of education, nor the best graduate placement scheme in the world, can provide you with the ‘right’ attitude – it’s all about you. Only you can do this, so don’t rely on anybody else to make it happen.
For me, ‘right’ looks something like this:
- Positive and enthusiastic
On balance, we should all be more positive than negative; we can’t all be positive all of the time, equally we shouldn’t be permanently negative either. Positivity is contagious, so not only will you be improving your own wellbeing but you’ll be boosting the moral of your team as well. That positivity will be linked to improved productivity, good mental health and will also put your mind in a state where you’re more willing (and able) to learn – this is particularly key for those early on in their careers. Your enthusiasm and positive outlook will make you far more popular with those around you; work is not a popularity contest, but building professional relationships is important for any individual. Be someone that others want to work with, not one that dampens the mood whenever they arrive.
A particularly important ability is that of self-motivation; do not rely on others to drag you through the days and weeks. You need to be able to turn up in the morning with the mind-set that you’re going to accomplish something. You should want to get things done, you should be hungry to achieve and you shouldn’t need somebody else to set those thoughts for you. Motivation is not just a desirable trait, it’s an absolute necessity.
See Post #12 for more on motivation.
- Problem solving
Problems arise, no matter what job you do. Embrace these problems as each and every one of them is an opportunity to learn something new. Be enticed by the process of finding a solution, not held back by the issue itself. Each problem is an important step in your career path, so don’t let them bog you down; you’ll be more knowledgeable each time you solve one, and knowledge is of course power.
- Win-win attitude
Just because you need or want to ‘win’ to climb your own career ladder does not mean that others have to ‘lose’. Win-win is the sort of positive, team focussed attitude that lays the groundwork for real success. The team wins when the individuals are winning too, and vice versa. The sooner you realise that win-win is an option you’re on the path to having the ‘right’ attitude. I previously read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey which introduced me to the win-win scenario, as well as 6 other ‘habits’ that could all be part of my list here; I would strongly recommend this book to everyone.
- Be proactive
Another taken from the book by Stephen R. Covey is the need to be proactive. Don’t just sit back and wait for instructions and don’t stand idly by as problems start to unfold. Get up and get something done, think ahead of your current task to what might need to be done next. Again, this is crucial for those early on in their careers; you’ll certainly impress those around you if you show some initiative, think outside of the box and show what you’re really capable of.
- Responsible and reliable
This is all about your integrity as an individual. Can you be trusted to carry out your given tasks? Can your team rely on you to get things done in a timely, professional manner? Are you where you need to be when you say you will be? Don’t be the ‘off sick every Monday’ or ‘I missed my alarm again’ bag of excuses that nobody has any time for. Be reliable, you won’t progress to anywhere otherwise.
Be organised. I previously stressed the importance of this in Post #15 and it’s a topic I feel so strongly about that I’m pushing it again. The way you organise yourself and everything around you speaks volumes about you as an individual, so you have to get it right. This includes everything from your workspace to your diary, your workload to your filing habits. Read Post #15 for more details; don’t let this one slip.
“Approachability is an interesting characteristic, not easily described or taught but incredibly valuable” – Mr Smith, Post #14. Attitude and approachability are closely interlinked and therefore this is essential to getting your attitude ‘right’. Your overall persona, especially in the work environment, must be one that invites people to interact with you. Always be polite, be appropriately humble in success, offer support to those around you and in general just be a decent human being. Nobody wants to speak to the person in the corner that’s always shouting, moaning, condescending in conversation, rubbing each victory in the face of others and is unwilling to help anyone – these people don’t build good relationships, and their careers suffer for it.
This list could go on, almost indefinitely, but these 8 traits feature at the top of my recipe for the ‘right’ attitude. Remember that it is your responsibility to get this right; take ownership and stay positive. A good attitude can take you a long way in this world.