How to Make a Difference in the Workplace: a Positive Attitude

The evolution of one’s attitude towards life is an ongoing, never ending process: sometimes, when things are going well, when a job is looking exciting, or when a thesis is almost done, we feel optimistic and hopeful, whereas at some other times, we experience the opposite: negative thoughts and feelings start creeping in and we lose all hope for a bright future. However common it may be to feel this way, this is not the way things should work: the contexts of, and changes to our environment should not determine the way in which we view the world; instead, our way of thinking and feeling should be a conscious choice, upon which our behaviour is based.

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What is a positive attitude?


Defined as “a settled way of thinking or feeling about something”, an attitude is a choice one makes to incline one’s self towards positivity, negativity, or indifference. It should not be confused with aptitudes, which are a set of skills that we have developed over time through learning and practice. Recently, attitude has been recognized as an important soft skill both in the workplace and in academia: our interests, abilities, and achievements, although quite significant, are not the defining traits of our success in a professional setting. We all probably know of someone who might not seem at first to be especially talented or skilled, but who persists in making an effort when the time to learn and work comes, and who does not let himself or herself be discouraged. Such individuals may even lift the mood of their team.


Being positive does not mean being the office clown, it does not imply being funny or making jokes. Of course, it can include some of those character types, but its overall definition is a person who, by having an open attitude towards tasks, whether ordinary or new, makes the learning and working processes as easy as possible. However, the development of a positive attitude relies on a high number of factors: technical skills can be taught by training, but soft skills need much more time and effort in order to be learned and become a part of each of us.


How a positive attitude makes a difference in one’s career?


Whichever type of personality or social skills everyone has, there is one undeniable truth: no boss wants to hire a talented person that will bring down the mood of the entire office. Developing a level of friendliness, comfort, and growth environment at the workplace requires a positive mentality, and this applies not only to relationships with colleagues and/or the boss, but also with professors, classmates, and every person that crosses our path, thereby making the networking process far easier.

Additionally, working on a positive mindset can help individuals to cope with pressure and stress, increasing their mindfulness and flexibility, and promoting a state of mind which is under control, regardless of the surrounding conditions.


Baby-steps towards a great attitude


Unfortunately, it is not possible to just wake up one day and decide that our mindset will be different from that moment on: it is a process that requires work and conscious effort in order to develop. Some easy ways to start improving our attitude are:

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Natalia Marcela Pitta Osses

Article Writer & Content Contributor

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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.

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