When Did “Attitude” Become a Skill That You Hire For?

I know for sure that this hasn’t always been the case.

My parents and grandparents did not see “positive attitude” as a skill. It was something you had, or faked, while at work. You didn’t question it because it was a given. You either showed up with it, or you got sent home to find it!

I’m now seriously hearing from hiring managers who say the only skill they desire from a candidate is someone with a “positive attitude!”

No, Tim! I don’t need someone who can do the job. We can show them that part. I just need someone who actually shows up to work and seems to like being here — working, making money, helping the company, our customers, and their fellow employees.”

How to stay employed and have a good career

By the way, these aren’t $12 an hour jobs. These are professional, you can make a good living, with benefits and retirement and manage people, level jobs! Career level jobs!

Here is all anyone really has to do today to get hired by, keep, and have a long successful career at most companies:

  1. Show up to work, almost every day.
  2. Come across to others that you actually like your job and the company you work for.
  3. Don’t be an asshole to your boss, co-workers and customers.
  4. Be slightly positive about what the future holds for yourself and others.
  5. Don’t be creepy.

1 + 2 +3 + 4 + 5 = a great career and multiple employee awards!

A positive attitude is a basic trait

Yet, most people in the world can’t even come close to meeting the expectations I’ve listed out above. Not. Even. Close.

Positive attitude is not a skill. It’s a basic human trait that all of your employees should have. If they don’t, please give them the gift of finding this “skill” while working for another employer.

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Also, don’t give me some crap about having a bad day. Everyone has bad days, weeks, months and even years. It doesn’t change the fact that you need to show up to work and put on a positive front.

Look, I don’t care if its real or fake, and no one else does either! Just do it.

Here’s a little secret: None of know that you’re faking being positive, and even if we did, we really don’t care! We simply like hanging around positive people more than negative people.

Attitude is not a skill. I refuse to allow it to be!

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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