They say “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”.
It’s certainly something to aspire to; having a job that fulfils you so much it barely feels like a job at all. But for most of us, work is what we do to earn the living we need to spend our extracurricular time doing what we love most — whether that’s spending time with friends or going out for nice dinners.
That’s not to say we can’t also enjoy our professions, and in fact, many of us will have sought out career paths that simultaneously earn our way while also engaging our interests, passions, and values.
Even if that’s the case and you enjoy what you do, sometimes, tough days or months can cloud your positivity in the workplace, and when it does, your mood and general outlook can be the first thing affected. It’s normal to have periods like this, but certain behaviours as a result of these can have a negative impact on our careers long term.
Amanda Rose is an internationally acclaimed entrepreneur, founder of six businesses, workplace trainer, business consultant and keynote speaker. Having worked for and within some of the biggest companies in the world, she’s come to recognise two key behaviours that she says can break a career.
Here, she reveals those habits and shares her advice for pushing forward.
There’s a time and a place for offloading, and it’s usually over the brunch table or with your friends on a Saturday night. Gossip in the workplace is a little different though, and as Rose says, should be approached with caution.
“You may have heard the phrase ‘loose lips sink ships’. Well, gossip sinks careers. Unfortunately, gossip has been perceived as relationship-building in a lot of workplaces. However, if you become known as someone who makes it their job to know everyone’s business and share it with others, you won’t be trusted.”
Rose says gossiping can result in an employee being left out of confidential workplace conversations, some of which could result in new roles and responsibilities; opportunities that may not be offered to a person who is not in those meetings.
“If you’re known to chat about other people’s business, your hopes of being in the ‘inner circle’, being a ‘right-hand person’, or a trusted advisor, will likely not come to fruition either,” she says.
Rose advises that if you find yourself unintentionally involved in a gossip session, you should find a way to step out of it. “Find an excuse to leave like needing to take a call or suddenly realising the time. Or, make it clear you don’t gossip with co-workers.”
Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, but wallowing at work is rarely helpful, says Rose. Comments such as, ‘They don’t pay me enough to do that,’ or, ‘Someone else always gets the credit’ will not help your career — even it is true.”
“Simply put, most of us want positive, forward-thinking people around us, and a negative attitude won’t be opening up any doors. A negative outlook may also find you excluded from brainstorming sessions, as you may be known as someone who looks at situations or people through a negative lens.”
If you’re feeling unsatisfied in your role, Rose’s best advice is to speak with your manager privately and strategically, and only air your negative feelings to your family and friends outside of the workplace.
A negative attitude as a result of work dissatisfaction might be combated quite effectively with a new project or learning opportunity. “You could also talk to your boss about the possibility of doing a course,” she says.
Though if you are feeling resentful and negative at work, perhaps it may be time to reassess if you’re in the right role. “Ask yourself, ‘What’s my career plan?’ and ‘Where do I want to be in five years?’. Remember, your current job is paying you to not only do your job, but to also learn, grow and deliver on projects that can set you up for future roles,” says Rose.
It may be that you’re ready to start your own business or embark on a complete career change (41% of Australians say they are likely to change jobs in 2021). So until you do find the role that provides improved satisfaction and leaves you feeling more positive, try to “practice behaviours such as smiling when you walk into work, exercise positive thoughts such as every cloud has a silver lining and keep your workplace discussions professional”.
Amanda Rose is an internationally acclaimed entrepreneur and founder of six businesses. Australia’s foremost strategic connector, Amanda is also a workplace trainer, business consultant and keynote speaker.