I have worked many jobs in my life. I have worked in food service, retail, healthcare, you name it. Some jobs I liked more than others, and some jobs I just outright hated. Regardless of how much I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy the job, however, it never managed to impact my level of personal positivity.

Positivity in the workplace comes from three different areas: the employers, the employees and the environment. If even one of these three things becomes negative, the entire company and everyone in it can suffer in turn.

I understood this from the moment I started my first job sweeping up hair in a barber shop. Sweeping up hair was no picnic and my 14-year-old self knew this, but I learned very quickly that sweeping up hair and feeling negative about it was not as much fun as sweeping up hair and feeling positive about it.

Voila, a new man was born.

I spent every day at the barber for the rest of the time I was employed there feeling good about my contribution to the success of the business and my ability to complete the task with efficiency. And this was, by no means, an easy task.

Making a positive impact at your job entails many things. There is no single way to make a positive impact, but there are many ways that you can improve your contributions and therefore improve the business and atmosphere.

It All Starts With the Boss  

I know very few people who have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing a “terrible” boss. Most people, in their long careers, have had at least one boss who they either couldn’t stand or who they believed was an ineffective leader.

The result from this lack of trust in leadership is almost always termination, either voluntary or involuntary — which doesn’t help the company grow or learn.

There are many qualities that a good leader should possess to help fuel the fire of positivity in the office. Some of them are more obvious like respect, strong communication, unbiased, good listening skills, and strong leadership. Some traits, though, may be a little less obvious, like education.

The strongest leader for the company will be knowledgeable in all aspects of the field and the position. They may have even obtained their master’s degree in management and are continuing to seek further education and training as the field continues to innovate. More than that, they will have a keen awareness of what type of candidate will make the strongest administrative managers to help them run their company more efficiently.

Positive attitudes trickle from the top of the pyramid down to the bottom. If the leadership staff is not doing everything they can to create a positive atmosphere for their employees to grow, there will be little growth for the company as a whole. Look up to your positive leadership staff and let their radiance fuel your positivity as well.

Don’t Forget About You

Sometimes it’s hard to remember our individual roles in a company when you have a really strong leader. People can get caught up in the great job the bosses are doing to make the company better and brighter and forget about what they can do to foster further positivity.

Positivity does not just come innately to all of us. Some of tend to see things from a darker perspective, some of us see things from a sad or disappointed perspective and others are simply cynics who find little happiness in the real world, entirely.

Positivity is something you must grow and develop. Positivity, most importantly, starts with the growth and nourishment of self-esteem. Without awareness of your own self-worth, there is often little to feel good about and it can begin to affect your persona at work, turning you from a fun and enthusiastic co-worker to a Debbie-downer of sorts.

While at work, practice finding those things that bring you self-worth. For example, if you are a really strong communicator, go out of your way to talk with people throughout the day. Brainstorm ideas together, get advice on projects, and go to lunch with your peers. Communicate for as much of your day as you can and you will feel your confidence begin to grow and positivity begin to shine.

Another key way to improve your overall positivity is through sleep. Sleep is extremely important to your health, so making sure you get enough of it will help you feel better during the day. Also, positivity has been proven to improve sleep function, so practice this as often as you can.

Your Environment Matters Too

I have never felt more positive about my efforts at work then when my area was tailored to my specific desires. I need to have my workspace feel like a reflection of who I am or I tend to get very little done.

Jazz up your desk with some nice potted plants if that’s your thing. Maybe you love to have photos of your family to inspire you to work hard. Perhaps you enjoy funny posters and calendars with Chuck Norris puns. Whatever your fancy, decorate your desk to match it.

Your immediate environment certainly contributes to your overall work effort so make it positive. Light up your day with a fancy desk lamp or open the window blinds nearest to you. Let your environment help build your positive mood.

Once the environment is doing what it can to empower you, your empowerment will transfer into everyone and everything near you. Your desk-mates and you will find yourselves laughing at funny things throughout the day, finishing your work more efficiently and having a generally more positive experience at work.

How will you make a lasting positive impact at work?

Devin Morrissey dreams of writing abroad, but he’s settling for writing on the road.  You can find him on Twitter or across the Pacific Northwest, but tweeting him is probably easier.



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