Attitude is everything. Skills, experience and technical knowledge can be essential, but your career will falter or escalate on attitude. When I started working (yes, it was the Dark Ages), we were in the middle of a recession and jobs were hard to come by. So when you got a job, you did whatever you had to do to keep it. If someone asked you to jump, you asked how high. You certainly didn’t sit there and mutter something about it not being your job to jump. Although we are not in recession and jobs are generally easier to come by, there is no excuse for a bad attitude. So if you fall into one the categories below, you need to take a good hard look at yourself:
The Passive Aggressive Worker
Passive aggressive behaviour is expressed through stubbornness, sullenness and a sustained refusal to do work expected of them. If this is you, then be prepared. Employers will only tolerate this for so long. And you will find Centrelink is completely impervious to your passive aggression. So stop while you can.
The Entitled Worker
Ah, my favourite. This person thinks that they are inherently entitled to a better job, more exciting tasks and a fast track to the management team. They may have some skills and ability, but they don't necessarily want to prove it – they just want someone to recognise how 'brilliant' they are and to reward them accordingly. Listen closely, Mr/Ms Entitled – there are no free tickets to the top. Stop whingeing that you are bored and need a promotion. The more you pout and carry on like a three year old throwing a tantrum in the lolly aisle of the supermarket, the less likely your manager is going to listen to a word you say.
This is the person you hate working with. They act like your friend, and then, when you are busy drying your hands in the bathroom, they are appropriating your work and getting all the credit. If this is you – beware – your boss might buy how wonderful you are the first time, or even the second time you get all the kudos for a job well done, but hell hath no fury like a workmate who has their work appropriated by someone else. Let’s just say I wouldn't leave my lunch unattended in the fridge if I were you...
The Bulls*#&% Artist
Is it just me, or do these people seem to find their way into management way more than they should? They usually have an outstanding vocabulary and can take a hundred words to say what most of us can say in ten. They confound and confuse and get by simply because the poor fool listening to them has no idea what they are on about, and rather than admit they are confused, they just agree. The 'Artist' can be a major reason good people leave the organisation. If this is you - beware – you won't keep your staff for very long (well, except maybe the entitled and passive aggressive ones), and in the end you won't be able to talk your way out of poor results. So maybe it's time to make some changes – forget the New Year diets and exercise you don't intend on actually doing; instead make the effort to change your attitude at work. You might not lose any weight or get fitter, but the 8+ hours you are spending at work every day will be considerably more satisfying.