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How Positivity Can Boost Your Career


By Debbie Bunch

April 29, 2024

We all know people like Jenny. She’s that RT. You know — the one who is always ready to answer any question you may have about your patient’s care. The one who will gladly give up her break to pitch in when she sees you are overwhelmed. The one who goes out of her way to let you know you’re doing a good job.

The one the bosses often think of first when it’s time to hand out choice assignments or fill a promotion.

Research confirms it

Can having a great attitude at work really lead to greater success and opportunities for advancement?

According to an article in Forbes published in 2022, studies suggest it can. Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, for example, found optimistic salespeople outsold their more pessimistic colleagues by 56%. Another study based on a survey found optimists were six times more likely to be highly engaged at work than pessimists, five times less likely to experience burnout, and — most significantly for people who want to boost their careers — 40% more likely to be promoted.

Of course, optimism and positivity don’t come naturally to everyone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate these traits into your own personality. Consider these three tips for making it happen —

Let your teammates know you are there for them: People are naturally drawn to people who are willing to help and support them, so like Jenny, you need to become a person others will naturally turn to when they need assistance. This doesn’t mean becoming a doormat people can walk all over to get you to do their jobs for them. It simply means giving off a vibe that says your door is open and you are willing to hear them out.

Learn to say “yes”: Most people have more work than they know what to do with, but people who embrace positivity on the job know that they will sometimes be asked to do even more. Be the person who says “yes” when asked to take on extra duties or a new project. Even better, see for yourself where the gaps lie and volunteer to step up and fill them.

Don’t fall victim to the negativity of others: One thing about negativity in the workplace is that it just breeds more negativity. Be the person who breaks the chain by refusing to get involved in conversations that simply rehash old grievances or create new ones. Even if you are the only voice speaking up for a more positive attitude, stick to your principles and look for those who seem willing to join you. Positivity can be contagious too.

It’s a win-win

It’s not always easy to maintain a positive or optimistic attitude at work, but the more you do, the better off you’ll be, and not just in terms of your chances for advancement. You’ll also find your satisfaction in your job is growing too.


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