If you find yourself in an office rut, take affirmative steps to stay positive and get back into the game. A pleasant employee is a promotable employee.
1. Fill your cup. Literally. Make a point of nourishing your body and soul. Have more than a quick cup of coffee for breakfast, even if it is a bowl of instant oatmeal and a piece of fruit. A nutritious smoothie is easy and fast, and you can drink it on your morning commute.
2. Make a pledge. Commit to avoiding negative talk in your office. This simple act can transform your life. Be aware of your daily responses and make a conscious effort to filter out harsh comments or remarks regarding yourself and your coworkers. Confidence is one of the top three traits employers look for in new hires, according to Forbes. A positive employee is not a complainer!
3. Shift to solution-based thinking. When you encounter a professional roadblock while working on a critical project, remind yourself that a great solution is just around the corner. Begin to creatively brainstorm alternative steps to remedy the problem. This tip is especially important in your relationship with your supervisor. You don’t want to be seen as the employee who routinely brings problems to her attention without offering thoughtful solutions.
4. Morning motivation. Take time each morning for a daily dose of wisdom. Use a devotional, read an inspirational quote book, or find an online source that you can refer to which will help your outlook stay positive as you head out the door. Buy yourself a journal and begin to record your daily blessings. An inexpensive spiral notebook and colored felt tip pen will give you incentive to write.
5. Do what you love. It’s easy to become cranky (or worse, snappy) when you aren’t balancing your life with a job you enjoy. If you haven’t found the job you are passionate about yet, don’t get discouraged. Every job is a stepping stone. Keep reminding yourself to stay positive and do your best because you are gaining valuable skills that will open the next door of opportunity.
6. Expand your library. Make a point to read at least one new professional book a month. Load up your Kindle or take a look on your kids’ bookshelf. You will find leadership books in surprising places.
7. Help someone else. If you see a coworker having a bad day, or struggling with a project, let them know you’re available if they need you. Brightening someone’s day makes everyone feel better.
8. Employ the five-second rule. If a colleague makes a snide remark, count to five (in your head) before responding. This will give you time to breathe and carefully compose an appropriate response. Just a few short moments is often all you need to remind yourself of your pledge to stay positive.
9. Surround yourself with positive people. Though you can’t choose your coworkers, you can choose how you interact. There must be a few coworkers who are in the same rut and would welcome an opportunity to see things differently. Verbalize your efforts to stay positive and you will be surprised how many other people will want to jump in.
10. Practice makes perfect. Actions precede feelings. Make it a point to smile when the opportunity genuinely presents itself. Not a tight, pursed lipped smile but a wide, toothy smile that sends the message, “I’m truly happy,” or at least trying to be. If you want a better work environment, do your part to stay positive when interacting with your coworkers. If you want a better life, get out there and make it happen. Smiling is a good start to a lifelong process.