How to Choose Your Attitude at Every Career Stage

Published On: December 6, 2023Categories: Blog

We talk a lot about Choose Your Attitude, which is the FISH! Philosophy core pillar that teaches us the importance of acknowledging our feelings while controlling how we react to the world around us. Choose Your Attitude empowers us to influence how we put ourselves out into the world and, in turn, how others perceive us, especially when it comes to workplace interactions – it helps us maintain professionalism without compromising our sense of personal integrity.

But does Choosing Your Attitude look different when you’re a 60-year old C-suite exec vs. a fresh-faced college grad? How does Choose Your Attitude work when you’re at different stages of your career and your professional development? While the following is far from comprehensive, here are just a few different things to consider when practicing Choose Your Attitude throughout your career:

Early career: Stay positive and roll with the punches

When you’re just starting out building a professional career, it can often be a shock to the system. Fresh out of college and full of youthful spirit and big ideas, many entry-level employees are confronted with the harsh reality that no matter how you slice it, work is still, well… work.

Entry-level jobs don’t have to be soul-crushing – a great organization will make all employees feel valued and supported by Being There when they need it and encouraging a sense of Play, but your early professional jobs still run the risk of being a bit tedious, with a sense that you’re just putting in the hours and not wielding great influence.

But rather than letting it knock you down, choose an attitude of positivity: treat everything as a learning experience, whether it’s how to sit back and listen to gain insight from your boss, when to speak up if something doesn’t feel right, or even what type of management and organizational structures you want to work within.

It’s easy to feel dismayed by your early jobs, as you often get all the pressure and bureaucracy of office life without any influence or power – but if you treat this stage as the best time to learn what works for you and how to work for others, you’ll be well on your way to really shaping a great career down the road.

Middle career: Stay flexible and work to build compromise

The middle stages of your career can be a real mixed bag – you’ve likely had a few promotions and found yourself with some type of authority over others and influence on the direction of the organization, but your work is still ultimately at the whims of those above you, which can make it hard to feel fully in control. After all, “middle management” is sometimes used as a derogatory term – but it doesn’t have to be this way.

The key to succeeding in this stage of your professional life is by maintaining flexibility – you want to exercise your power and authority to make life better for the people under you (and Make Their Day) while still maintaining focus in order to do your best work for those who oversee you and your team. It’s easy to fall into a habit of rigidity, bristling at feedback from both above and below – but if you can choose an attitude of being the shock absorber and the mediator meeting the needs of both your team and your superiors, you’ll continue to build a reputation as a great boss and an effective asset to the organization.

Later career: be the shining beacon your team needs to succeed

At the later stages of your career, it (hopefully) finally feels like you’ve “made it.” Maybe you’ve earned that director title, that c-suite office, or maybe you’re even the big boss in charge. Or maybe you aren’t a ladder-climber and have just been putting in the hours and building your pension doing a job you like year after year and gotten that seniority. Or maybe you’ve even bounced around, trying out different jobs and different industries and gotten the breadth of experiences many can only dream about.

Regardless of the path your career has charted, the later stages of your career are when you’ll be most looked up to by others, and when you really need to be that active role model for those who are still learning and growing. By actively choosing to model continued leadership, respect for your team, and a continued willingness to learn and adapt, you can avoid becoming the grizzled curmudgeon or that “broken stair” so stuck in your ways that others avoid you, and earn the respect of everyone as you age gracefully towards retirement.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • Early Career: What do you want your career to look like in 5 or 10 years? Even if your current work isn’t particularly stimulating, what can you take from it that will help you work towards those goals?
  • Middle Career: What are your biggest frustrations when dealing with different levels of operation and authority? How can the right attitude alleviate some of that stress and help meet the needs of all parties?
  • Later Career: How do you present yourself to those below you, or newer than you? Are you “pulling up the ladder” behind you, or are you choosing to offer advice and guidance?

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Starter Kit

The first step in a successful FISH! journey is a remarkable introduction. A FISH! Philosophy kickoff event:

  • Inspires people to find the joy they have been missing at work.
  • Teaches four powerful skills you can use immediately for team and personal success.
  • Unites team members to accomplish any goal.
  • Is incredibly fun . . . and people learn more when they have a good time!

The FISH! Starter Kit provides all the tools you need to plan and lead a great kickoff.

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Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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