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Get and Keep the Work You Want

A positive attitude will not only help you to find a good job but also help you hold on to your work in a competitive market.

Many employers say a positive attitude is one of the personal traits they value most highly in their employees.

When you have a positive outlook and have passion for your job, you work more effectively. Co-workers view you as a valuable team member and you increase your own level of satisfaction and success.

Getting work

If you’re currently looking for work, take some time to examine your attitudes and beliefs about work search. You might believe it’s just a matter of time before you connect with the right employer. On the other hand, you may be letting your worries about finding a job stress you out. Believing in yourself and your abilities will keep you energized for the hard work of looking for work. A positive attitude can make all the difference in a job interview.

For each work search area listed below, enter your beliefs and attitudes in the first space provided. Then, review your answers and copy any positive beliefs into the second space. Lastly, rewrite your negative beliefs to turn them into positives. Use the examples to get started.


Keeping work

The way you approach your work will help you hang on to it. Follow these suggestions for keeping work:

  • Show up for work. If you're going to miss work, let your supervisor know a soon as possible. 
  • Do your best. Do each task well the first time.
  • Focus on work when you’re at work. Use breaks to check in with your social and personal life.
  • Be a committed team player.
  • Lend a hand when your co-workers need help. Do what needs to be done, whether or not it’s “your job.”
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Look to improve.
  • Make every effort to add to a respectful, co-operative working environment. Avoid gossip and negativity.

When you have a challenge, try to avoid the following behaviours:

  • Permanence—smart workers see challenges as temporary, not permanent.
  • Pervasiveness—smart workers don't let challenges or a bad experience affect other areas of their lives.
  • Personalization—smart workers don't assign personal fault for challenges that happen. They assess circumstances and learn from them without casting blame.

Keep busy on the job: An employer’s story

“To us, the employees who stand out are the ones who are willing to learn, are outgoing, have good thinking skills and are able to work well with others,” said the production manager of a custom woodworking shop in Edmonton.

One of his best new employees is Lisa, a single mother. After only a few weeks with the company, her employer is already considering giving her a raise. “She’s a model employee because she’s outgoing, has a great attitude about the job and is willing to learn. And if I am busy, she’s not afraid to approach other staff and ask if she can help or just pick up a broom and start sweeping. She takes initiative and that’s great to see.”

Have a positive attitude to get and keep the work you want

In a competitive market, employers want to hire and hang on to workers with an optimistic outlook and a can-do approach. Whether you're searching for work or hoping to keep the job you have, your positive attitude can give you the edge in the hiring process and earn you the right kind of attention on the job.

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