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12 Attributes of a can-do attitude

By • Nov 22nd, 2007 • Category: Lead Article, Personal Development

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Do you look on in envy, while your friends and co-workers climb the corporate ladder? If you’re thinking that brains, talent and connections are the only things that propelled them to the top, you are only half right. The other half of the equation is attitude.

Attitude is a powerful force and a formidable ally. Often, it trumps education, experience and a host of other attractive credentials. It looks beyond conventionality and sees possibilities. It propels people to step up, take charge and launch forth with confidence.

Anyone can adopt this kind of attitude, even you. No matter who you are, or how untalented or unskilled you believe you are, it can make a significant and positive difference in your career.

Try adopting these 12 attributes of a “can do” attitude for success on your job.


1. Take charge

Don’t sit and wait for the ladder to slide down next to your desk.

Successful individuals go out and make a success of their dreams. Ask God to lead you to the ladder. Then get up and start looking.

When you find it, identify the rungs you need to master and get ready to climb. You can make it to the pinnacle of your field, if you are willing to step up and take charge of your career.

2. Show up

Be there, on the job, on time. It is your duty. In fact, a better policy is to be early; be the bird that catches the worm. Take advantage of the hour or so before the phone calls, office chatter and workday distractions to get some paperwork out of the way, or to brainstorm some strategies to manage your daily tasks. Be ready to hit the road running when the door opens.

3. Do your best

Take pride in every aspect of your job. Don’t run from work that is beyond your job specification. Perform every task you’re given with all the enthusiasm you can muster.

4. Be courteous

Common or sometimes, not so common courtesies leave lasting impressions. It costs nothing to extend them to people around you regardless of their positions. You never know when your courteous dealings with others will play a role in your future.

5. Go the extra mile

Make three more cold calls than required. Spend an extra half hour fine-tuning that report. Devote part of your lunch hour or stay after work to help train a new employee. Little extras like these make the difference between being the person who does her job and the one who excels.

6. Be visible

Visibility is key to moving up the ranks of any company. Visit other departments, talk to people, ask questions, and offer suggestions. Employers can’t promote you if you remain hidden in the background.

7. Ask for what you want

Be it a raise, a promotion, more resources for a project, inclusion on a new team or a second chance, it is amazing what you can accomplish simply by asking for what you want.

The key is to believe in the validity of your request and remain confident that you will be successful.

8. Don’t settle

It’s human nature to grow tired of the struggle to get ahead. If you want to have a successful and fulfilling career, you can’t afford to settle for less than you envision.

Remember that successful people are always on the lookout for opportunities. Keep your eyes, ears and your mind open for new avenues to expand your expertise and develop new ones. A wasted opportunity may be a lost chance to advance your career.

9. Improve yourself

Read books and magazines relevant to your field. Sign up for courses to boost your resume and increase your marketability. Volunteer to take on a project at work that will equip you with a new skill and enhance your position for recognition and promotion. Successful workers don’t just complete the job and sign out — they look for additional ways to make their mark.

10.  Learn from failure

Everyone fails from time to time. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is how they deal with failure. Those who find success are the ones who refuse to wallow in self-pity. They fall, get up, dust themselves off, learn from their mistakes and move on.

11. Toot your own horn

Have you been waiting for someone in the office to recognize your talents and efforts? Maybe it’s time you start tooting your own horn. When appropriate, talk about what you have accomplished or done for the company. You can point out your achievements without sounding boastful.

12.  Network

Successful workers understand the importance of networking, both in and out of the office. Be proactive about establishing professional contacts. Hobnob with colleagues and people who are in a position to give you the information you need, but do so with integrity.

If you harbor dreams of moving up in your company, do not sit at your desk contemplating the obstacles. Concentrate on your personal strengths, qualifications and experience. Bolster the list with a “can-do” attitude and forge forward with definitive action. That’s what successful people do. Believe that you can and your “can-do” attitude will help to get you where you want to go.

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One Response »

  1. If everyone followed those then the world would be a better place

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