The Secret Success Tip Your Boss Won’t Tell You...
Welcome to our party issue and our career issue. Cosmo girls work and play equally hard, which is why this issue packs both topics (also, it’s our end-of-year special, and we wanted to make things extra-juicy for you). Now back to the headline on this page. There is a particular quality every leader wants in her team...but she may never bring it up because it’s not a ‘hard skill’ like education or training or even communication or punctuality. The secret skill your boss really wants you to have is actually pretty simple. It’s a pleasant attitude.
No matter where you work—a bank, a marketing company, or Cosmo, there are going to be more crazy days than ‘regular’ ones. As long as you work in a challenging environment (and if you don’t, you may be losing out on exposure and opportunity), there will be many times when you’re stretched too thin, when last-minute demands are made, and when you’re asked to do more, work longer hours, or meet impossible deadlines. Your boss knows this. And she’s not thrilled about it either. But how you react could change everything. You can choose to get upset, frown, sigh loudly, complain to colleagues in a corner, or generally behave like your world has come to an end (whether you say it out loud or not). Or you could smile, be enthusiastic, and simply get the job done—because that’s what you’ll have to do regardless, no?
You’d think that having an upbeat, positive attitude at work is obvious, but that’s not the case. According to Anita Bruzzese author of 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy—And How to Avoid Them, after the recent recession, employees are being asked to do more with less—and many have fallen into the habit of chronic whining about their situation. Which is not only annoying, but also detrimental to your career. Nobody likes moaners—whether at work or a dinner party—and your boss is no different. In fact, many companies consciously hire cheerful, ‘can-do’ people because a positive attitude helps boost team morale and gets the work done quicker, especially during stressful times. On the other hand, moaners and gripers add more stress to a leader’s already-full plate, making their job tougher (which is why bosses often tend to avoid chronic complainers).
So the next time you’re handed an inconvenient task or asked to do more than you were prepared to, do it like they do in the service industry—with a smile. You’ll be showing your employer that you’re not only hard-working, but also amazing at handling pressure. And come promotion time, both these ‘leadership qualities’ will give you the edge you need.
Have a smiley next year,