Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Make most of job you have

Create new attitude and find work happiness

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There's never a better time like right now to make a change at work, not by looking for a new job, but by making the most of the one you have.

There's no better place to begin than by assessing your personal attitude. Is what you do for a living just a job and what you're working toward only the next payday and eventually, retirement? That certainly makes for a very long and tedious career. The alternative is coming to appreciate what you have and, even better, finding happiness at work.

Creating a new attitude about work is not easy, and in fact, it might be one of the hardest things you've ever done. Not only does it mean having the self-confidence to overcome the external attitudes of others - grumpy co-workers, a cranky boss or an unsupportive partner, it's often difficult to let go of old beliefs that might be holding you back. One such belief is that finding work you not only enjoy, but love, is a privilege that very few have. Not true.

Fortunately, our attitude, defined as a way of thinking, feeling or behaving, is something that each of us has the power to change. But why do it?

Having the right attitude gives you positive energy and, like taking a deep breath of fresh air into your lungs, clears your head so that you can see things more clearly. You will start to look at challenges like puzzles, not problems, and feel empowered to seek out solutions instead of sinking into the "poor me" rut.

It doesn't mean glossing over serious situations or justifying the cards you've been dealt. Instead, it's about mindfully choosing how you will handle what comes your way and being able to make the best decisions that will turn things around. It's about being present and taking pride in your work, and knowing that you can achieve all that you set out to do.

Author and vocational coach Craig Nathanson says that adopting a new attitude or position about work is like adding fresh, tasty fruit to your bowl of cereal - it will put a smile on your face and a little spring in your step. On his website, Nathanson offers the following 10 steps for creating an attitude of gratitude at work:

1. Expect that you'll find happiness in your work if you are prepared to search for it.

2. Delete old beliefs and patterns that are no longer useful for your work.

3. Don't expect anyone else to change your attitude for you.

4. Do expect lots of resistance from others.

5. Discard, as quickly as possible, negative thoughts about your work. Instead, change your work!

6. Take a new position that you will not longer settle for unfulfilling work without meaning.

7. Create an inner awareness that your life can be authentic, happier and more satisfying.

8. Smile and laugh more because negativity gets defeated this way.

9. Expect to discover and do what you love.

10. And finally, practice a daily consistent attitude which is the same in the morning as it is at night. You'll feel calmer about yourself as a result.

Work and joy can mix; you only need to fit them together. Start by remembering that you are one of the lucky ones simply because you are gainfully employed in a pretty nice place with good people and enough pay to make ends meet. As Oscar Wilde once said, "If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want."

Now is the time to take stock of all of the positives around you and pay less attention to the negatives. Once you're in a good place, you can start to build a new attitude from there.

-- With reporting by Barbara Chabai

Colleen Coates, CHRP, CCP, is a practice leader with People First HR Services Ltd. She can be contacted at


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 19, 2013 H2

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