work ethic http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8297/all en-US 5 Work Habits From Country Music http://www.wisebread.com/5-work-habits-from-country-music <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-work-habits-from-country-music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5-work-habits.jpg" alt="woman listening to music" title="woman listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Johnny Cash once described country music as, &quot;three chords and the truth.&quot; Now, the hard-drinking Man in Black may not have necessarily been talking about work habits, but it turns out country is full of work wisdom.</p> <p>The value of putting in a solid day's work was a consistent theme of my Southern upbringing. We valued a strong work ethic so much that I spent more than one Christmas morning raking leaves for my grandfather (after presents and breakfast, of course). Like almost anything, the workday is better with a soundtrack, and as a kid mine was country music. Lately (and surprisingly), those lyrics have been coming back to me, providing with much more than just different ways to execute a party in the back of a truck.</p> <p>Here are five work habits I've learned from country music.</p> <h2>1. Hold True to Your Own Vision</h2> <p><em>&quot;But you got dreams he'll never take away.&quot; &mdash; Dolly Parton's &quot;9 to 5&quot;</em></p> <p>No matter your boss or the work environment you're in, you can't ever stop dreaming. You have to set goals for yourself and work toward your end dreams. If you're lucky enough, one day you may even get paid to do something you've always dreamed of doing.</p> <h2>2. Work Hard, All Day, Everyday, Repeat</h2> <p><em>&quot;That's the only way I know, Don't stop 'til everything's gone&hellip; Full throttle, wide open, You get tired and you don't show it.&quot; &mdash; Jason Aldean's &quot;The Only Way I Know&quot;</em></p> <p>Every student poised to graduate from college should be required to listen to this before accepting their diploma. Here's what they don't tell you in school about the real world: Everyone is tired, everyone is busy, and no one wants to hear about it. Go to work, work hard, and don't complain about it.</p> <h2>3. A Good Attitude Changes Everything</h2> <p><em>&quot;I can't wait to get up in the mornin' and do it all over again.&quot; &mdash; Brooks and Dunn's &quot;Hard Workin' Man&quot;</em></p> <p>The takeaway from this is pretty simple: If you have to get up and go to work everyday, you might as well have a good attitude about it. Chances are good that you will spend the majority of your life working a full-time job &mdash; try to enjoy it somewhat.</p> <h2>4. Take Time Off</h2> <p><em>&quot;I cashed my check, cleaned my truck, Put on my hat, forgot about work.&quot; &mdash; Alan Jackson's &quot;Good Time&quot;</em></p> <p>Sometimes, you absolutely have to forget about work. You have to be able to turn off your computer, stop checking your email and relax on occasion. The more you're able to do this, the easier it will be for you to go to work energized and enthused for the task ahead.</p> <h2>5. Keep Things in Perspective</h2> <p><em>&quot;Have you ever seen a headstone with these words: if only I had spent more time at work.&quot; &mdash; Billy Ray Cyrus' &quot;Busy Man&quot;</em></p> <p>I haven't. And I hope I never do. Remember, a job is a job is a job and there is always another one around the corner <em>&mdash; </em>especially for someone with a great work ethic!</p> <p><em>Have you learned any lessons about work from country music?</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This post is by Lauren Cowling, managing editor of <a href="http://www.countryoutfitter.com/style/">Country Outfitter Style</a>. She grew up in the South and spent more than one holiday morning doing chores or manual labor. Naturally, she took this work ethic to the Internet where she regularly writes about pop-culture and entertainment. When she&rsquo;s not watching reality TV Lauren is googling facts about things she&rsquo;s seen on TV.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-cowling">Lauren Cowling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-work-habits-from-country-music">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-all-the-frugal-skills-you-need-with-these-9-great-video-tutorials">Learn All the Frugal Skills You Need With These 9 Great Video Tutorials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-life-skills-you-must-learn-in-your-40s">The 8 Life Skills You Must Learn in Your 40s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment General Tips Personal Development country music life skills work ethic Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Lauren Cowling 1185009 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread's First Job Stories http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-first-job-stories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-breads-first-job-stories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008035608Small.jpg" alt="Girl serving ice cream" title="Girl serving ice cream" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From high-schoolers getting their first summer jobs to recent college graduates starting their first &quot;career&quot; positions, early summer is a big time for new jobs. We here at Wise Bread have told you about some of our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/share-your-work-horror-stories">worst jobs</a>, but we haven't necessarily told you about our <em>first</em> ones &mdash; those scrappy, minimum-wage gigs where we made as many (if not more) errors than good moves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-your-first-paycheck-work-for-you">Making Your First Paycheck Work for You</a>)</p> <p>Enjoy these first-job stories from some of our writers, in all of their awkward glory.</p> <h2>Fair Game</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a>: My first real job was sort of odd. I was hired at a fairground, and I think I was 16.</p> <p>At first they had me doing clerical work, but after a week or so I started checking in fair entries, issuing passes, and eventually I worked out in the barns with the livestock owners. There were great work ethic lessons to be learned, although at 16 I was more excited about the paychecks.</p> <p>A 4-H and FFA kid, I was in my element and pretty comfortable with everything except for the &ldquo;carnies,&rdquo; who were pretty rough. I kept my distance.</p> <p>They were long days. Judging would start as early as 8 a.m., which meant I needed to be on deck by 7 a.m., and I didn&rsquo;t usually leave until the carnival lights were glowing.</p> <p>Judging was serious business, whether rabbits, quilts, or pickles were being evaluated.</p> <p>I listened to a lot of country-western music while in the office, learned to drink black coffee, and got some autographs from minor celebrities who were doing the fair &ldquo;circuit.&rdquo; I lived on corn dogs, fresh cinnamon rolls, and boiled corn-on-the-cob with lots of butter and salt. Fair food rocks.</p> <p>My boss, Bob, was wiry, leathery, chain-smoking old cowboy. When we drove to town to the feed store, he liked me to drive so that he could tell stories and chain-smoke. I had barely known how to drive a stick, but I had to get good at it, fast. When he told me I could drive a stick like a real truck driver, I felt pretty proud of myself. When you can back up to the loading dock of a feed store, baby, you are <em>somethin</em>&rsquo;.</p> <p>I still love the Americana of a fair and fondly remember days filled with 7 a.m. sheepdog trials, petting zoos, cotton candy, and late-night stock-car races. It was a great first job.</p> <h2>Candyland</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a>: I entered the working world modestly at age 15 as a janitor at a local department store called Spurgeon&rsquo;s (think JCPenney&rsquo;s without as much stuff). For sweeping, mopping, emptying the trash, and organizing hangers, I was paid the handsome sum of $2.86 per hour (isn&rsquo;t it funny how we never forget the wage of our first job?).</p> <p>After distinguishing myself by classifying all the clothing hangers in the storeroom by type (a blessing to the sales clerks who did all the stocking), I was &ldquo;promoted&rdquo; to candy counter clerk. This was the old-fashioned kind of candy counter &mdash; bulk candy in huge display cases sold by the pound. I&rsquo;m sure I ate most of the profits during the slow days, but through the black magic of teenage metabolism, it never showed.</p> <p>Spurgeon&rsquo;s didn&rsquo;t last very long after Walmart came to town. But by that time, I was out of college and making my way in more professional (and much less calorically-intense) jobs.</p> <h2>Sort-of Handy Helper</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a>: My first job with a regular paycheck was as a lifeguard at a community pool. But as a child, I was an entrepreneur and found a few handy-girl jobs around the neighborhood (before I was old enough to babysit!). For example, a friend and I made a list of 10-15 odd jobs that we could handle and walked around our neighborhood introducing ourselves to people and offering these specific services.</p> <p>We were hired to rake leaves by a young woman who I am pretty sure thought we were adorable. She doted on us and even made snacks. I wanted to do a great job, so in addition to raking the leaves, we also cleared out the ivy in which the leaves were embedded. Obviously, as a child, I had not acquired a love of climbing ivy; instead, I saw it as a weed to be removed. When I told her what we did, the young woman tried to disguise her shock (and disappointment) &mdash; she was very nice and quickly paid us and sent us on our way.&nbsp;</p> <p>So, an early life lesson for me was to be clear about the job to be performed and realize that the customer may have different likes and dislikes than me.</p> <h2>(Very&nbsp;Little) Attention to Detail</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a>: My first job out of college was working for an educational publishing company based on Long Island. I worked as an assistant to the Vice President of Business Development (or something like that, I barely remember). My job was to book travel for consultants and my boss, handle their expense reports when they returned, and provide our accounting department with billing information. I spent a great deal of time on the phone with a travel agent.</p> <p>It quickly became obvious that I was not to be known for my attention to detail. Travel plans became confused, hotels were booked miles from the closest convention center. Incorrect billing information was given to schools in other regions of the country, resulting in angry calls to our President and CEO from principals and superintendents. My lack of interest in the tasks placed before me was obvious; while I enjoyed the ideas and artwork inherent to the publishing industry, I was certainly not the best person to handle the nitty-gritty details that come with running a publishing house. I was thrilled to leave the position after only six months, and I'm pretty sure that my boss was delighted with my departure as well. Thereafter, I never accepted another administrative position. It's simply not my forte.</p> <h2>More Customer Than Employee</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a>: My first job was as a sales associate for Footlocker at the local mall. I got the job because, like a lot of teenagers, I wanted some financial independence and I thought it would be nice to have some extra spending money. Little did I know that working for minimum wage for less than ten hours per week could hardly satisfy my shopping habit! That was my first experience with directly equating hours worked to new shirts purchased. I also learned that it was, in fact, possible to end up earning negative dollars during a shift &mdash; if you work <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping">retail</a>, and you get a discount on merchandise in your store, you have to have the self-discipline to avoid using up your paycheck before earning it. I did end up with a lot of nice tennis shoes, though.</p> <p>Working at Footlocker wasn&rsquo;t all bad. I initially got the job through a friend, and we passed a lot of slow hours gossiping about the boys at school, our weekend plans, and cute customers. When the store was busier, I helped customers find the best shoes for them. The experience taught me patience, the ability to juggle several things at once, and how to listen to others&rsquo; needs. Even though my day job now couldn&rsquo;t be more different from that first job as a sales associate, it still helped teach me some of the valuable skills I use today. All in all, not a bad first job!</p> <h2>Fairy Tale Princess on&nbsp;Display</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a>: I grew up in an area of Northern New Hampshire where one of the biggest summer employers was a small amusement park called Story Land. I worked there for four summers and loved it...well, most of it. See, soon after I was hired at the awkward age of 14, I was informed that one of my duties would be performing as Cinderella. As a budding actor, I was thrilled and honored that I'd be cast in such a role so soon after starting work.</p> <p>What I didn't realize is that there's a good reason the new employees were cast as Cinderella &mdash; the job was exhausting! Cinderella's fancy gown was a sweat trap in the muggy New England summers, and the day was filled with a constant rush of people waiting to take tours of the castle, get hugs, and take pictures. It was wonderfully rewarding to see my work translate into so many happy kids, but by the end of the day, my legs would ache, and my voice was hoarse.</p> <p>The worst incident I had as Cinderella, however, was towards the end of the summer, when a particularly large tour group was in the castle. See, all of the employees who played Cinderella shared the same costumes, and after a few months, things started to fall apart. On this day, I was wearing a hoop skirt under the gown, and part of the lowest plastic ring in the hoop had come undone and was sticking out. It wasn't very noticeable to guests, but it was enough that, as I backed into the ballroom to allow space for more visitors, I accidentally stepped on it.</p> <p>I immediately lost my balance and fell backwards. This would have been bad enough, but because I was wearing that lovely hoop skirt, not only did I fall on my butt, but the hoop skirt lifted my gown up high so everyone could get a perfect look at my pink heart-patterned underwear.</p> <p>From that day forward, I always wore shorts under the dress.</p> <p><em>Do you have any great first job stories? Share them in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-first-job-stories">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-jobs-for-college-students">10 Great Jobs for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tactics-for-relieving-work-related-stress">5 Tactics for Relieving Work-Related Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-employee-perks-are-good-for-business">5 Ways Employee Perks Are Good for Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-librarian-is-still-a-great-career-choice">5 Reasons Librarian Is Still a Great Career Choice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income crappy jobs first jobs work ethic Mon, 13 Jun 2011 10:24:11 +0000 Meg Favreau 575479 at http://www.wisebread.com Corporate Rules to Unlearn http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/corporate-rules-to-unlearn <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/corporate-rules-to-unlearn-julie-rains" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/corporate-rules-to-unl...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/corporate-rules-to-unlearn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009924612Small.jpg" alt="Cubicles" title="Cubicles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Those who worked in the corporate arena before launching a business may revel in the freedom of operating without layers of bureaucracy, fixed hours, and processes that benefit efficiency but fail to delight customers. Unlearning irrelevant corporate rules may <em>seem</em> simple, but delineating those that are useful and those that may damage your business and its reputation isn&rsquo;t necessarily easy or intuitive.</p> <p>Here are some rules that owners quickly unlearn and replace with new rules:</p> <p><strong>Showing up earns a paycheck.</strong></p> <p>Showing up is essential to <em>getting started</em> in earning money. Showing up by itself means nothing and may cost you if you have to pay for office or production space, inventory, staff, etc.</p> <p><strong>A title elicits respect.</strong></p> <p>The title of owner, principal, or president means that you are accountable for every action that the business takes, rather than naturally engendering compliance from those surrounding you. Others &mdash; including employees, customers, and vendors &mdash; will look to you for decisions and may approach you with proposals, requests, and demands for your consideration, response, and reaction.</p> <p><strong>Meetings solve problems (or provide a facade for real problem-solving).</strong></p> <p>Actions solve problems. Until you build a knowledgeable staff or a team of trusted advisors, you may need to skip meetings and go directly to handling problems swiftly and independently. Not only are you responsible for making decisions about complex matters, you are also accountable for communicating and carrying out these decisions.</p> <p><strong>Business decision-makers act rationally and consumers make predictable decisions.</strong></p> <p>Craft marketing, sales, and service messages to meet the analytical <i>and</i> emotional needs of your target customer. Rational thinking and predictability on the part of customers may play less of a role in successfully marketing and selling your products and services than business owners with strengths in finance, operations, manufacturing, etc. would have ever imagined.</p> <p>Going beyond the basics, I spoke with a veteran business owner about rules that may make sense for larger companies but are less relevant for small businesses. Bob Young works as president of <a href="http://www.computertree.com/">ComputerTree</a>, which has been an Apple reseller since the 1980s and provides systems integration, training, and professional services. Most of the company&rsquo;s focus has been on commercial accounts, though the company does serve the consumer segment.</p> <p>Here are insights from our conversation:</p> <p><strong>Established business processes dominate decision making.</strong></p> <p>Learn: Instituting work processes boosts efficiency, but customer needs should drive decision making.&nbsp;Bob tells me that &ldquo;Our advantage as a small business is that it&rsquo;s easy for us to break our own rules or process when it&rsquo;s going to be a great benefit to the customer. Being able to make a fast decision and react to a customer's needs is one of our biggest weapons in providing service to the customer.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Flexibility tends to increase the cost of doing business.</strong></p> <p>Demonstrating flexibility can lead to greater customer satisfaction <em>and</em> profitability. &ldquo;We can be flexible for anyone really. It can mean offering in-home installation on Sunday afternoon if that's what the customer really needs. There are more opportunities to be flexible with business because it normally means the client is willing to pay extra for it, and many times consumers aren't willing to pay more, they become flexible if it means saving some money.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Large marketing budgets spent on mass messaging can reach target audiences effectively.</strong></p> <p>Niche publications and custom advertising can deliver strong ROI. A &ldquo;small business can search out the smaller local publications and reach a different market on a local level.&nbsp;We can also target locally through Google AdWords and speak only to the local prospect, targeting our dollars to the local customer. Local media can be a better ROI. I feel it generally gets noticed more, you're not in the fray, customers tend to trust it a bit more,&rdquo; especially for publications that combine features of local businesses and personalities with advertising.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Adapting to different types of customers is difficult and ill-advised. </strong></p> <p>Tweaks to business operations can be made quickly in response to market demand and changing conditions. &ldquo;This past year we really made a focus on consumer as well [as business] with the iPad. We now have a full line of accessories for browsing in the store, upgraded demo area for consumers with all the equipment there to view, and classes every Wednesday evening for our users.&nbsp;This year we will maintain our consumer offerings, but will focus greatly on large business, as we see opportunities coming about for us that didn't used to be there.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Customers will respond positively to well-designed marketing offers.</strong></p> <p>Interact directly with customers to learn what they want, understand how they respond to your messages, and ensure that their needs are met by your business. &ldquo;Being small lets us get closer to our customer, directly finding out what they need, discovering what would really &lsquo;wow&rsquo; them, what's missing, and what's not meeting their needs. These discoveries should shape our businesses. It allows us to truly add value and fill the unfulfilled niche.&rdquo;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/corporate-rules-to-unlearn">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-behaviors-and-attitudes-that-can-drive-workplace-success">14 Behaviors and Attitudes That Can Drive Workplace Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center corporate culture small business work ethic Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:55:51 +0000 Julie Rains 487890 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Behaviors and Attitudes That Can Drive Workplace Success http://www.wisebread.com/14-behaviors-and-attitudes-that-can-drive-workplace-success <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-behaviors-and-attitudes-that-can-drive-workplace-success" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man in suit in park vintage.jpg" alt="vintage photo of man in suit" title="vintage photo of man in suit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="348" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have worked with hundreds of people at all corporate rungs and have enjoyed watching many of them progress. There are, sadly, a few who seem to spin their career wheels. I thought I might discover some wisdom if I considered the behaviors and attitudes of two people, both bright and kind to me. One has had success in the business world and is currently&nbsp;a&nbsp;senior manager of a global organization while the other struggles in low-paying wage or so-so sales commission positions:</p> <ul> <li>Both are American, male, single, 40something, and fit.</li> <li>Both have an undergraduate degree only and have experienced periods of intermittent unemployment.</li> <li>Neither have high-achieving family members.</li> </ul> <p>Let&rsquo;s call the successful guy Jack and struggler Charlie, and consider their differences. I&rsquo;ve created two categories: one is for behaviors that are observable; the other, attitudes that are not so obvious. Here are 14 things that can make a big difference in workplace success.</p> <p><strong>OBSERVABLE BEHAVIORS</strong></p> <p><strong><br /> </strong>1) Jack <strong>chooses employers and positions carefully</strong>, frequently being rejected and rejecting inappropriate offers; Charlie is not astute at discriminating between a good opportunity and bad choice, and so finds himself not progressing and continuing what one career services buddy refers to as a &ldquo;downward spiral.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>2) Jack goes into <strong>overdrive for the first 6 months of a new job</strong> (and beyond as needed), working extra hours to learn the nuances of his accountabilities, gain understanding of the company culture, figure out who the key players in the company are &ndash; all while doing his daily tasks and delivering results as quickly as possible; Charlie complains that things aren&rsquo;t what he expected or what the company promised.</p> <p>3) Jack <strong>relocates if necessary</strong>; Charlie talks about relocating but never has.</p> <p>4) Jack has <strong>developed a career specialty</strong> that offers better paying, though harder-to-find, positions; Charlie&rsquo;s skills, while valuable, don&rsquo;t differentiate him from other candidates.</p> <p>5) Jack <strong>is always looking for the next challenge</strong>, either with his current employer or another one, and doesn&rsquo;t mind taking calculated, well thought-out risks; Charlie wants to be successful but doesn&rsquo;t set goals for himself or plan how he will deliver results for&nbsp;his employer.</p> <p>6) Jack <strong>embraces mental challenges</strong> including taking professional development courses and learning new technology on his own; Charlie avoids newness and avoids using technology, making it more and more difficult for him to learn.</p> <p>7) Jack <strong>advocates for his employees</strong> at the risk of company disfavor; Charlie seems to have enough problems of his own and complains (doesn&rsquo;t offer solutions) rather than advocates (explains why he is right and makes specific requests).</p> <p>8) Jack <strong>tries to increase his income and net worth</strong> through real estate investing (home buying and selling was profitable) and running a side business (which didn&rsquo;t take off); Charlie has thought about starting a business but hasn't yet.</p> <p>9) Jack <strong>has increased his visibility and knowledge through membership in a professional association</strong>; Charlie doesn&rsquo;t have an expertise in one field and so doesn&rsquo;t have a professional association suitable for him to join.&nbsp;</p> <p>10) Jack <strong>has been mentored and has mentored others</strong>; Charlie has never found anyone to help him mature professionally.</p> <p><strong>ATTITUDES (revealed through conversation but not directly observable)</strong></p> <p>11) Jack <strong>values other people&rsquo;s points of view and motivations even if he disagrees with them</strong>; Charlie considers his perspective only and doesn&rsquo;t see how getting what he needs may jeopardize the rights of others.&nbsp;</p> <p>12) Jack <strong>categorizes corporate behaviors as normal/typical or abnormal/unacceptable</strong>, and he has learned to operate as expected but protests (or plans his escape from) unreasonable requirements; Charlie considers nearly all company behavior to be damaging to his psyche and, ultimately, his performance.</p> <p>13) Jack <strong>sees negative events as leading to positive outcomes</strong>, either directly or indirectly; Charlie feels that one bad thing leads to yet another.</p> <p>14) Jack <strong>holds himself to a high standard of ethics and performance</strong>, and isn&rsquo;t afraid to hold others (his bosses and his staff) accountable; Charlie wants to hold others accountable but many times does not live up to his employer&rsquo;s standards.&nbsp;</p> <p>Considering these divergent&nbsp;approaches and outcomes, I see that choosing the right employer (and being chosen) is critical so that your viewpoint doesn&rsquo;t become skewed and you take a downward spiral, which can be difficult to reverse.&nbsp;There may be times&nbsp;when <a href="http://Ever wondered how you can influence your workplace and long-term career success? Here are 14 behaviors and attitudes that can make a difference. " title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide">conditions are so difficult</a> you&nbsp;can't see the way out. Going outside of the workplace -- joining professional associations, taking classes, learning something new -- combined with an ever-hopeful, goal-setting, people-savvy, hard working attitude can make a difference.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-behaviors-and-attitudes-that-can-drive-workplace-success">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sing-your-own-praises-at-work-without-bragging">How to Sing Your Own Praises at Work (Without Bragging)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-star-employee-by-thinking-like-an-entrepreneur">Become a Star Employee by Thinking Like an Entrepreneur</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-progress-the-missing-link-between-management-and-employees">Making Progress: The Missing Link Between Management and Employees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-lessons-from-moneyball-can-help-your-career">How Lessons From Moneyball Can Help Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-high-paying-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago">9 High-Paying Jobs That Didn&#039;t Exist 10 Years Ago</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building career success work ethic workplace success Sat, 08 Dec 2007 21:48:57 +0000 Julie Rains 1480 at http://www.wisebread.com