Having a Positive Attitude at Work: 7 Tips for Success

Most people prefer to work around positive attitudes. Having a positive attitude at work can help you succeed. It can help you get promotions, succeed on projects, meet goals and improve your overall wellbeing. However, maintaining a positive attitude at work is not always easy especially if you don’t love your job. Here are 7 tips to help you stay positive at work even under less than desirable circumstances:

  1. Report Problems Quickly and Professionally

No one likes a chronic complainer but clearly vocalizing the obstacles to your supervisor can be beneficial for resolving those issues. If you fail to speak up about problems, there is no opportunity for resolutions. As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. When reporting problems, always maintain professionalism. Be solution-oriented in your approach with your boss so you won’t be seen as someone who only brings complaints.  Avoid tattling on your co-workers or exhibiting passive aggressive behavior and remember that change takes time.

  1. Respect Your Co-Workers

Working in the construction industry, you may feel undervalued and under-respected. No matter what industry you work in, people want to feel respected. If you work with a disrespectful team, try to set the example by radiating a respectful demeanor. Not only could it improve your relationship with your co-workers but your boss may notice too and give you a raise or repeat ticket. It pays to treat others the way you want to be treated at work. You don’t have to like everyone to keep a positive attitude at work either. Don’t let others disrupt your respectful energy.

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Many of us are irritable when tired. If you aren’t getting enough sleep at home you may find it difficult to maintain a positive attitude at work. Do you have trouble waking yourself up in the morning or find yourself needing a nap by 2 p.m.? These are indications that you may not be getting enough sleep. Some people can function with only 4-5 hours of sleep per night whereas others need 9 or 10 to feel rested. Avoid using the weekends to stabilize your sleep. Go to bed earlier during the week so you get all the rest necessary for you to feel positive.

  1. Identify Negative Thoughts

Sometimes we can fall into a negative attitude at work without even realizing it. Start to become more aware of your thoughts, words and actions. Pay attention to those times when you say no without thinking, say “I can’t”, doubt your abilities or feel angry about a given tasks. During those tough times, force yourself to see the good and redirect your energy. Even if you can’t change every negative emotion, identifying these thought processes and having awareness will give you clarity about your reactions and intentions. Once you start identifying your negativity levels, you may be surprised by the number of negative thoughts in your head and encouraged to shift your thinking.

  1. Manage Your Overall Stress Level

Sometimes, our attitudes at work carry over from our experiences at home. If you’re stressed at home – stressed about your marriage, your kids, your finances or other problems – you may find it difficult to maintain a positive attitude at work. Alternatively, sometimes stress at work can cause stress at home. Examine your overall stress level and identify barriers to your positive attitude. Since construction work is usually physically demanding, you don’t need additional stress bogging you down. Understanding the larger causes of your overall stress may help you enjoy your job more.

  1. Smile

Smiling, even when your on the phone, can put you in a better mood. It may feel fake at first, but if you find yourself in a negative space just remember to smile. Smile at a passing coworker in the hall or smile as you answer a customer’s question. Even try smiling when you’re by yourself. Smiling often can help transform your attitude. This also helps other people think of you as a positive and friendly person and people will enjoy being around you which will help you release your own negative feelings.

  1. Remember that Your Job Doesn’t Define You

Many people take pride in their work. At the end of the day, your job doesn’t have to define you. Even if you hate your job, your coworkers or the company you work for, you get to go home to your loved ones and hobbies when the workday is over. Get in the habit of leaving work, and work-related stress, at work. Most people have endured jobs they didn’t like before finding a job that’s a better  fit. When you start to feel negatively at work remember that the day will eventually end and you can spend time doing things you enjoy more.

It’s not always easy to have a positive attitude at work but having one goes a long way. Following these 7 tips can help you maintain a positive attitude even when it seems impossible. Working construction can be physically exhausting but maintaining a positive attitude will serve you in the long run. Those around you are noticing if you are consistently displaying a positive attitude. People tend to be more responsive to positivity over negativity. Having a positive attitude at work can reap benefits for you personally and professionally and improve the overall atmosphere.


McKinley Sterling is a Jr. Digital Marketing Specialist with  Results Staffing. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2010 and has had several professional opportunities in the public relations, communications and digital media space. He is passionate about digital marketing and excited to bring his experience to this exciting new role with Results Staffing.