Copping a ‘Tude

A better outlook can be one of the keys to your success

Vernest Dickson’s superYisors in the accounting department of a heavy equipment manufacturing company encouraged her to apply for a better position in the division. After expressing her interest, she discovered she was the only in-house applicant. She took a brief vacation to consider the potential job change. Upon her return, she was shocked to find the position filled. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Dickson voiced her complaints to the human resources manager.

"I wasn’t given the same opportunity to interview as the other applicants," says Dickson, a 33-year-old accounting clerk in Cleveland. "It was unfair because I was qualified."

Workplace pitfalls, such as downsizing or office politics, cause many professionals to become frustrated and angry. While these emotions may be justified, they rarely help transform a bad situation into an opportunity for growth.

"You enhance your ability to succeed by concentrating on factors you can control," says Robert L. Lawson, a motivational speaker. "The most important factor is your attitude," he says.
Dickson channeled the energy she would have expended in that new job into furthering her education. She enrolled part time at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, where she is now studying for a degree in accounting.

"I felt the best way to get over feeling sorry for myself was to better myself," says Dickson, who will graduate in 2001. "It’s crucial to maintain a positive attitude even when it seems easier to just play the victim."

In short, attitude is everything. To help perfect yours, try keeping four things in mind:

  • Maintaining a good attitude is a choice.
  • Make your decision to be positive a conscious one.
  • You are your reactions.
  • Bring a positive outlook to every situation, no matter how difficult that task may seem.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • You tend to take on the attributes of the company you keep.
  • Remember that challenges are temporary but necessary.
  • Success never comes without struggle. Be persistent.

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