“Always look on the bright side of life” Life of Brian

Your attitude at work should be optimistic and professional. Don’t damage your reputation by making complaints, saying things that are untrue, being over - critical, or negative. Instead build and improve on your reputation by seeing the best in people, thanking them for their assistance, be a fun person to be around, be someone who will brighten other team member’s day.

These are very difficult things to learn and do, especially when you are a new work starter and perhaps worried and concerned about what lies ahead for you at work. Try to be confident and not take yourself too seriously while doing your job to the best of your ability. You will find that if you can keep an optimistic and happy attitude, people will be more likely to help you with any work difficulties.

Criticising co-workers

“Never throw your colleagues under the bus or talk about them behind their back” says career coach Roy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional Survivors Guide.

“Colleagues who trust and admire you will be your best support system to promote your reputation as desirable and valuable. When they don’t feel that you are transparent in your intentions, your disruptive actions will raise doubts about your ability to be a both a team player and a team motivator. Both are essential assets for effective leadership.”

As a new starter you are probably not thinking about being a leader, but remember that bad mouthing anyone, co-worker or customer, says more about you than about them.

The results from the survey in Part 1 should convince you that the idea that “most graduates and school leavers think they know everything” is clearly not true.

As a new work starter it’s almost certain that in your first work team you will be working with people with lesser abilities. You are starting at the bottom of the ladder, and there will be people who may have been there a while. This does not mean that you should look on this as an opportunity to put them down in order to advance yourself.

If you are seen as a critic of others, the rest of the team will wonder what you think of them.

Instead, you will improve your reputation if you are seen as someone who is supportive of the other team members, and keeps any gossip about poor performance to themselves.

You may also be working with people who have greater abilities than you but who you
personally dislike because of their attitude. That’s fine and only natural, but what’s not fine is to
criticise your co-workers. You need to adopt a professional attitude to these people. That means treating them with respect in all your dealings with them.

Accept that you are going to come across people at work who you are never going to be friendly with. When dealing with these people, you will have to learn to focus on the work and establish a relationship with them, where you both acknowledge that you are there to do a job of work and you are both doing it to the best of your abilities.

It demonstrates a bad attitude and will damage your reputation if you say things like “Jill is an idiot.”

Well, maybe Jill is an idiot but there are several reasons why you should keep your opinion to yourself. You may regret saying this later. Jill may be having a bad day, or she may have information that you don’t have about why she is behaving the way she is. In any event Jill is almost bound to hear what you have said about her. Even if she doesn’t those people who have heard what you have said about Jill will wonder what are you saying about them.