Home » Jobs, employment, training » Managing Your Career in a Negative Environment – Library Worklife:

Managing Your Career in a Negative Environment – Library Worklife:

By Mandy R. Simon

Many of the colleagues I’ve spoken to lately have alluded to having a similar problem in their work environments, regardless of organizational size or type: rampant negativity from co-workers. Workplace negativity is insidious and can feel downright inescapable. As the old-timey educational movie reels explain about tooth decay and drug addiction, negativity can seep into an organization unannounced and threaten to discourage even the most motivated and enthusiastic leaders. How does one manage their career in such a climate? Here are some tips I’ve found useful for staying buoyant in a pessimistic sea.

Maintain organizational awareness and self-awareness.
Buy into the vision and mission of your organization. Then ask yourself, where do you fit? Take a self-inventory of what is within and outside of your control. Where can you positively contribute and what skills do you have that can positively influence others (who may also be feeling the ill-effects of a negative environment)? Focus on the things you can change and improve. Go where you can do your best work. Pay attention to your co-workers. Encourage those who are working towards their own goals. Praise them on projects they initiate and effort they’re putting forth. They may not be getting recognition for their efforts, either. If you see someone doing a good job, acknowledge it. Encouragement isn’t reserved for managers and supervisors.

Find a friend.
Find a supportive friend with whom you can commiserate and allow yourself a certain amount of time to complain. Then, stop. Each of you is responsible to pull the other out of the negativity drain. Make a commitment to acknowledge when enough-is-enough and the conversation needs to turn around. Periodically remind each other about the organization’s mission. Get to know each other’s career aspirations so you can remain on the lookout for opportunities as they arise and seem to fit each other’s professional goals. Be a cheerleader for this person and vouch for their competencies and successes when you can. Read more…

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