Who’s the Boss: Good attitude goes a long way

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Published: November 2,2009

You wowed ‘em with your résumé, impressed them in the interview and actually got the job! 

Think the hard part is over? 

Think again. 

Now that you’re an official employee, the real work to impress the boss begins. 

There are certain expectations employers have of their employees, and guess what? They don’t all involve work experience and skill level. 

 

Numero Uno: have attitude, not bad-itude! 

“The number one attribute an employer looks for in his hirees is a positive attitude,” said Beth Henry, owner and president of Staffers Inc., a Jackson-based company that specializes in providing temporary office workers. “It’s all about having a can-do attitude. The right attitude covers up a lot of deficiencies!”

Henry should know. Her credibility is on the line every time she sends one of her temp workers out on a job. If the employee doesn’t meet the expectations of the boss, they might get the boot, but it’s Henry who might lose a client. 

“Part of having a good attitude means being willing to do things you might not necessarily want to do,” Henry said.

 

Dependability

That My-Dog-Ate-My-Homework excuse didn’t work in school. What makes you think the I-Broke-My-Glasses or Lost-My-Keys or Ran-Out-of-Gas stuff will fly now?

Not only do you need to show up for work, you need to show up on time and ready to work — every day.

When you’re at work, work. When you’re at home or at lunch, talk to your friends. Personal phone calls are one of the boss’ pet peeves. Ditto for all those e-mail jokes, private text messages and computer games.

 

Professional appearance

It should be obvious that nose rings and your cool new tattoo are totally uncool in the workplace. But also leave the short skirts, tight shirts and low-cut stuff at home. You want those around you to focus on your abilities and accomplishments, not your physical attributes. And don’t forget to use an iron — even with the right outfit, too many wrinkles can make you look like a slob.

 

Good people skills

Look your boss and co-workers in the eye. Shake their hands firmly. Speak clearly and use good grammar — not the slang you use when you hang out with your buddies.

Finally, let’s say you have been at your new job for six months or so, but it is just not working out. Maybe you don’t click with the other employees, or just don’t find the work challenging or interesting enough. Perhaps you even have a shot at your dream job with another company. Whatever the reason, when it is time to move on, resist the temptation to ditch your old boss and co-workers. It will almost certainly come back to haunt you.

“You need to approach leaving a company with the same professionalism you used to get hired by the company,” Henry said. “The number one thing to remember is to treat people the way you would want to be treated.”

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