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You’re fairly new at your job. But you’re not loving it and you’re looking for a career booster. It’s possibly past your first-year mark at work. You’ve learned the ropes of your position but you feel you’re slowing down. Everyone has days where being at work seems like the worst thing in the world. Having a negative attitude isn’t just unpleasant but it’s also bad for your health and harmful to your productivity.

You’d be shocked at what you can achieve by adjusting your attitude to make your dream job a reality. Having a positive attitude at work can help you get a promotion, succeed on projects, meet goals and generally enjoy your job more. Positivity is a choice, one that many struggle to attain.

Skills and experience may seem like the most important characteristics of an employee but attitude plays just as big a role. After all, what good are great professional skills without the attitude to see it all through?

Here are a few tips to stay positive at work.

Report problems quickly and professionally

No one likes someone who complains every day about everything. If there are clear reasons why you find it difficult to stay positive at work, report these problems to your boss or line manager. Unfortunately, if you don’t speak up to say there’s a problem, no one will fix the issue. It can then impact your attitude. And when you’re reporting these problems, always be professional. You’re in a work environment, after all. Avoid passive-aggressive behaviour with co-workers and remember that changes don’t happen overnight. And try to not only go to your line-manager with complaints but with proposed solutions that will work well for everyone too.

Identify negative thoughts

There might be a big possibility you don’t even realise you have a negative attitude at work. You should start to be more aware of your thoughts, words and actions. Think about times when you say no to tasks without good reason, think you can’t do a specific task, doubt your abilities or felt angry about work given to you. Perhaps it’s best to look at situations in the opposite way, saying yes and believing you can do something. You should feel confident in your abilities or be happy and excited to do a task. If you can’t change every single negative emotion you have, then you should at least start to be aware of these emotions and think about whether or not they are justified.

Work on your stress level

Often, your attitudes at work are simply carried over from your experiences at home. If you’re already dealing with stuff at home, it's difficult to maintain a positive attitude at work. It works the same the other way around. If work puts you in a bad mood, it’s easy to carry that stress home and snap at your family. It’s best to sit down, look at your overall stress level and identify the things in your life that make it difficult to have a positive attitude. If you work on your overall stress level and have a more positive approach to understanding your stress, it can help you start to enjoy your job more.

Get enough sleep

The majority of people feel a little grumpy when they’re tired. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it’ll be very difficult to concentrate and maintain a good attitude at work. Do you find it hard to get going in the morning? Or are you sleepy by the time 3pm rolls around? These are indications you aren’t getting enough sleep. Some people only need five to six hours of sleep per night while others need eight to those times. You shouldn’t rely on getting enough sleep over weekends. Instead, go to bed early so you get the sleep you need to feel positive.

Smile and have respect

Smiling, even when you don’t feel happy, can automatically put you in a better mood. Smile when you’re walking past a co-worker. Smile when you’re busy with customers. Smile even while you’re by yourself. It may seem stupid, but it can help you to have a more positive attitude at work.

It’s always easier to stay positive at your job if you like the work environment, including your colleagues. To have less stressful working relationships with colleagues, you should treat them with respect.

Take these five tips into consideration to have a positive attitude in the workplace. And remember, your HR manager didn’t do their HR management training course to inform you about the attitude needed in the workplace. Attitude starts with you. With your attitude, you have a choice in the way you perceive whatever is going on.