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Do you have the right attitude?

Use your outlook to bolster your career

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

While the quality of your work product clearly plays a role in your career advancement, there’s another, less obvious element to consider: attitude. Senior executives tell us that they like to promote people who think a certain way and perceive themselves and their employers fairly.

Among these three common personality types, only the pragmatists will rise to the top:

1. Resistors. A steadily growing group of employees, they’re dissatisfied workers who believe that their best years are behind them and that they’re caught up in a system that takes advantage of them. As classic malcontents, resistors feel powerless, so they blame everyone but themselves for every setback. They communicate by mocking and criticizing others.

2. Traditionalists. Some people don’t want to accept change, so they apply outmoded problem-solving models to their work. They remain ignorant of technological advances and view any overhaul of an inefficient process as a distraction. Age has little to do with whether someone’s a traditionalist. “I’ve got people in their 20s and 30s who refuse to learn new things,” says a VP at a restaurant chain. “They equate everything they learned in school or an earlier job as eternal truth, so that closes them off from appreciating new developments.”

3. Pragmatists. Career advancers keep their feet planted on the ground and maintain a healthy, realistic outlook on their jobs. They treat technology as a vital tool, and they’re constantly looking for ways to produce better results by examining cause-effect relationships and devising smarter ways to work. They manage their time wisely and avoid petty political squabbles. They get ahead by establishing a network of allies and looking for ways to make others’ jobs easier.

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