Young Workers

Click here to return to the Your Fears contents page.Your Fears : Your Attitude

It is sometimes said that it is not what happens to us in life that counts, but how we react to it and deal with it. You can take a positive approach (get through it) or a negative approach (feel sorry for yourself and moan about it). So, your attitude towards starting work and doing the job can certainly have an effect on what actually happens to you at work.

Here are three situations for you to think about.

1. It's the day before you start your first full-time job.
Which of these two statements comes closest to how you might be feeling?

A - I'm a bit nervous but I'm really looking forward to starting work. It will take me a day or two to get used to things but I'll soon make new friends and I'll be learning lots of new skills as well as making some money. I must make sure that I look my best so that I make a good first impression. I'll be okay.

B - I don't want to go to work. I'd rather stay home and watch the telly. I bet they're all a bunch of muppets anyway. They won't like me! They'll just boss me about and expect me to do stupid things. See if I care.

If you chose A Good. This is a positive attitude. You'll be fine.
If you chose B Oh dear. This is a bit negative. Try not to talk yourself into failing.

2. It's your first morning at work and you have been asked to make tea for the boss and three colleagues.
How would you deal with it?

A - Say "Of course" and spend the next half an hour aimlessly wondering where the cups are, where the tea bags are, where the milk is etc., etc., then burst into tears because you can't find the sugar.

B - Say "Make your own tea" and carry on with what you were doing.

C - Say, "Yes, okay" but ask someone to show you where the things are and write down people's names with information about how they take their drink.

D - Say "Get lost" and walk off in a huff.

If you chose A This happens more than you would think. Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. How could you possibly know where things are on your first day?
If you chose B This is a poor choice. If you want to be part of a team at work, you have to give a little. It would be better to say, "I'm a lousy tea maker but I'll have a go if you show me what to do."
If you chose C This is the best answer as you are taking charge of the situation. This is a good attitude and people will respect you for it.
If you chose D This is a poor choice. If you want to be part of a team at work, you have to give a little. It would be better to say, "I'm a lousy tea maker but I'll have a go if you show me what to do."

3. It is coming up to one o'clock on your first day and no-one has mentioned your lunch break.
Do you:

A - Ask someone else about lunchtimes and routines.

B - Sit there feeling upset and hungry.

C - Get our your packed lunch and start eating it.

D - Get up and walk out.

If you chose A This is the best response because you are taking charge of the situation.
If you chose B This is not necessary - if you're not sure about something, ask someone.
If you chose C This may be okay, especially if other people are eating packed lunches - but it may be against company policy to eat at work desks.
If you chose D This is rude and may get you a reprimand.

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