Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Positive Attitude at Work can be the Key to your Success

by Nikki Gill

Maintaining a positive attitude at work will benefit your career and steer you towards a promotion. 36 per cent of professionals polled on LinkedIn agree that a positive attitude is the most important quality that employers look for in candidates and team members.

However, maintaining a positive attitude on a daily basis in the workplace is harder than you may think. Work is stressful and challenging, and most professionals face deadlines and obstacles on a weekly (if not daily) basis. This is not an environment that fosters a positive attitude – you really have to work at it.

We’ve decided to not only tell you how you can convey your positive attitude at work to your colleagues and superiors, but also why it is important and how you will benefit from this attitude shift.

HOW

  1. Use Positive Language

No matter how long you’ve been with a company and how comfortable you may be around your colleagues, you should never use profanity. If it slips out in a high-stress situation we can let it slide, but you cannot swear on a regular basis. This is a professional environment, and the use of profanity immediately ignites a negative aura into its surroundings.

  1. Never Criticize Anyone

There is a difference between criticism and constructive feedback. Always use the method where you begin by complimenting the individual on something they’ve done well, and follow it up with a suggestion on how to improve their performance. Also, ensure to have this conversation in private. The individual will respect your feedback, and also respect the fact that you brought awareness to the situation in a professional manner.

  1. Stay Away From Gossip

Nothing eats away at a teamwork environment worse than gossip does. Whether team members are gossiping about colleagues or their personal problems, avoid the situation altogether. If you are caught in the conversation, act as a listener who does not provide any input. Maintaining a positive attitude at work means that you are a team player who provides all team members with respect. By refraining from joining a gossip circle, you can ensure that you maintain that level of respect.

  1. Put Teamwork First

When a team member has performed well, let them know. Offering pats on the back and compliments on a job well done are two simple and easy ways to foster a positive teamwork environment. In the same regard, when the team is faced with an obstacle, be sure to offer solutions and next steps rather than focusing on the negatives. Approach each obstacle with a “glass half full” mentality and you will create a positive outlook that will catch on to the rest of the team.

  1. Don’t Complain

Every day is not a good day – but don’t let everyone on the team know that. You may have been stuck in standstill traffic that morning, or experienced a 45-minute delay on your train ride, but you can’t let those variables affect your work. If you are in a foul mood, ensure you walk it off before you get to the office. That way, instead of ranting to your colleagues about how terrible your morning was, you can poke fun at your bad luck and give everyone a chuckle. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances will keep the work environment positive, where ranting will add negativity and diminish the upbeat working tone of the office.

WHY

  1. Health Benefits

A positive attitude is about more than just smiling at work. It literally benefits your overall health. Stress can deteriorate your health, especially when you experience it on a daily basis. These daily stresses start to wear down your health and your immune system. Put a stop to that before it starts by using our steps to ensure you face each workday positively.

  1. Become a Role Model

People avoid negativity and they are drawn to positivity. Your positive attitude at work will allow your colleagues to feel comfortable coming to you with questions or for advice. You will quickly become a role model and an ally for many team members which will be viewed as an excellent quality by superiors.

  1. Infectious Positivity

Your positive attitude will rub off on your teammates. Nobody wants to be the grumpy and pessimistic team member when everyone else is so positive. You will set an example, become a role model (as stated in point #2), and eventually create a full team of professionals with positive attitudes. This will boost the effectiveness of the overall working environment and lead to successes for the company.

  1. Take the Lead Role

You’ve become a role model in the team, so naturally management will see that you have the leadership qualities to take on the next special project. The team members will respond well to your leadership and you will be given additional responsibilities to help you climb up the ladder in the office.

  1. Be Next in Line for a Promotion

The same way that Hiring Managers look for a positive attitude in potential candidates to fulfill a role, Management will also look for a positive attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion. Positivity in the workplace shows that you can encourage your team members to overcome obstacles and work cohesively to achieve the company’s goals. As a team member with a positive attitude, you will have already demonstrated these traits to your superior and therefore will be favoured for a promotion.

Do you agree – is a positive attitude the most important quality that employers look for? Let us know what you think in our Resume Target LinkedIn Group.

Nikki Gill is the content editor at Resume Target and blogs at ResumeTarget.com. Nikki is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism and has written resumes for job seekers at all career levels from students to C-level executives.

 

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Accessing the Power of Gratitude – Happy Thanksgiving

by Sherry Shoemaker, CPCC, ACC

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

* Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

* Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

* Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

* Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

* When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

* Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

2008 Claire Communications

Sherry Shoemaker is the owner of Voice of Assurance Life Coaching.  She is a published author and motivational speaker with a passion for helping women find the courage to take risks and be successful.

 

3 Mistakes That Can Suffocate Your Success in Finding a Job

by Joyce Fortier-Paxton, Professional / Executive Resume Writer & Coach

With November here, many job seekers I talk with are thinking about putting their job search aside until after the holidays. Their thought is that companies will slack off and not be seeking new employees until next year.

I have found the exact opposite is true. Companies are gearing up their employee searches now so that new employees will be hired and in place when the New Year begins. Budgets for many companies open up at the first of the year and the companies want their staff in place so they can hit the deck running.

NOW is the time to ramp up your job search. Now is the time to focus on the companies where you want to work and send your resumes to them. And, by the way, when you send out your resume, don’t forget to follow-up. It is your responsibility to follow-through, not the prospective employers. If you TAKE ACTION NOW, you have a much greater chance of landing a job for the New Year.

1)            Your first step is to have a resume that is a “10” – one that shows your value for the job you want. How do you do that? Know your target – think like the employer. When you are in the market for a new job, promotion or raise, you need to think like the decision maker. What problem does that person have that they need fixed? How does your skill set help them achieve their goals? What have you done, or what can you do to make their job easier? How can you significantly contribute to company objectives? When you help them get whatever they want, they will more than likely help you get what you want.

2)            Your next step is to search the Hidden Job Market for opportunities. While estimates vary as to how big the hidden job market really is, most people tracking these things agree that it makes up about 75% of total employment opportunities. Yet, many job seekers have their heads stuck in the job board postings that make up about 3% to 5% of job opportunities, and really yield few results. So you see, you have a much higher chance of landing the right job when you seek out the hidden job market – there are many more jobs and there is much less competition.

3)            Finally you have to navigate the Hidden Job Market.

  • Focus on several target companies you would like to work for, rather than on specific job openings
  • Research these companies, thoroughly, finding out what their challenges might be and learning about the people who can help you get in the door – look on the Internet, in general publications and trade journals
  • Look for articles written by people who work at your target companies and begin building relationships with them by email, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – ask them to recommend others who might talk with you
  • Talk with vendors, customers and employees of your target company – they can often tell you about upcoming jobs and opportunities (these are the hidden sources in the hidden job market)
  • Finally, call the target manager at each of your chosen companies – briefly explain who you are, what you know about their business, and how you might help with some of the challenges they are facing. Ask for a 12-minute meeting so you can demonstrate your ability to contribute to the bottom line – stick to 12-minutes. Be prepared to offer ideas and solutions the manager needs.

Using this approach works – it can lead a manager to create a new job for you, once you’ve shown how talented and self-motivated you are.

***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at paxton.joyce@gmail.com and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you in comments on the blog: http://wp.me/pseG4-71.***

With over 20 years experience, Joyce Fortier-Paxton is an expert in career transition coaching and job search strategies that focus on the hidden job market, giving you advice that works magic, and providing you with guidance that brings optimum results.