- Business and Employment
How To Fail At Work
Workplace Attitude Can Make You Fail
Your workplace attitude can hurt you. It can make you poor your whole life. Your attitude towards your job is crucial to your success and failure. Self-Sabotage. I work with people low on the employment ladder. These are either young people who are just getting started, older people who are slowing down, and those who just can't do better for themselves. There are also some in the middle who for whatever reasons have to take a job below what their work history would suggest.
I started in December 2007 with a group of 26. We went through 3 days of orientation together, and started working. Before our group even met, about a third of the applicants were sent packing, unable to pass the drug test. That is real self-sabotage.
It wasn't long before people started dropping out, less than a week. The work was tough, physically demanding. The pattern was similar, first someone misses a day, then comes back. Then they miss another day, or two, and come back. Then they miss again and come back just long enough to be told to clear their lockers and leave. People with no other job and kids to feed. They failed.
Why? Excuses ranged from being in jail, to having to take care of their kids, to being sick. All legitimate excuses. If it happens once.
But the people who come to work and do their jobs do it in spite of problems. The people who take time off always seem to have one more reason to take time off.
What's the difference? Attitude. I can see it day by day on the job. It isn't hard to figure out, working alongside someone, if he is going to stick it out or just quit and fail.
This job is no piece of cake. The pay is not high and the work is hard, ten or twelve hours of grinding labor. But the benefits are what you expect of any large, successful American company. Not too bad, with insurance, dental, vision etc. A man can make a decent living here for his family, if not a very high-class one. Chances to move on to less demanding work, and higher-paid positions are there, if you can just get through that first six-month trial period.
The difference is mental. I see guys in their 60s working along with young football jocks just out of high school. I see skinny young women doing the work, and grandmothers. Some people just don't want to work hard, even knowing that six months down the road they can get out and move up to better pay and easier (physically) work.
The cold reality is that there are people who work, and there are those who won't.
I met a guy today who I used to work with. He got fired recently for a second accident on the job. Fortunately, no one was injured, but with the powerful machines we use, it could easily have been deadly. The company, justly, has a strict accident policy, and a pattern of accidents results in firing, even for otherwise sterling workers.
I asked what he was up to. Today he was filing for unemployment, but he already had two part-time jobs, an assistant manager position at McDonald's, and as a volunteer fireman. He hopes to pass his tests and become a fireman full time. He is fifty-five. This guy, and others like him, may be down, but never out. Getting fired in the worst economy in a generation is a temporary setback, and maybe a step up to something better.
The last time he lost his job, in a plant closing, he took the opportunity to go back to school and get a degree.He certainly didn't fail, just because he lost his job.
What drags us down is inside us. So is what builds us up. Do you self-sabotage? I do, for some things and some times. In my relationship with my wife, I may say the wrong thing, knowing AS I SAY IT that it will have certain negative results.
I wrote a book recently. I am trying to find an agent to sell it. Writing was fun. Looking for a literary agent is annoying. I put off what are really simple, but boring tasks, hunting out agents on line, preparing the query letter, recording my results. Why hesitate? Maybe fear of rejection, lack of confidence in my writing ability? I don't really know, but I finally put my book togather myself, and it is for sale on Amazon.com. Search for 'Iron Magic'. Do you self sabotage? Why, where and how?