By Colleen Harding
What’s the difference between a career and a job? I was once told, “A career is something you commit to. A job is something you go to.” I thought about it. One is something you pick because it interests you and you enjoy doing it. The other sounds like something you would pick because you need to pay bills, but it would not be your first choice.
Regardless of whether you have a career or job, your attitude generates 100 percent of your happiness. Happiness is a choice. People who choose to see the good in situations always seem happier than those who do not. In the etiquette world, a person who chooses to be happy is normally also polite. This is a person who thinks of others and makes an effort to make sure others are content. This is an individual who represents his or her company well in the market. Whether he or she is attending a networking event or is the first person you encounter at a company, when checking in attitude sets the immediate tone.
Here are a couple of things to consider when choosing to be a pleasant person in the business world.
- Posture. Happy people are also confident. They walk tall. We spend so much time on computers and cell phones that our posture, many times, suffers. Bring your chin up, shoulders back, and walk tall.
- Smile and make eye contact. Many times we get so deep in thought, we forget that there are people around us. Say hello occasionally.
- Anticipate others’ needs. If you are in an office that regularly has clients coming and going, think about what you can do to make them comfortable. A bottle of water, tray of doughnuts or bagels is rather inexpensive. Validate parking. Offer to hang up their coats. There are many opportunities to stand out and be kind to clients. Discover a few.
- Dress up. We are a society that has become so casual that we have forgotten how to dress up. Successful, happy people are rarely underdressed. Plus, we feel better about ourselves when we look good. If your company has a 100 percent casual environment policy, once a week dress on the “upscale” casual side.
- Be on time! No one is ever happy when they are left waiting. We all have other things we could be doing. It is very difficult to recover when we haven’t respected someone’s time.
Colleen Harding is a protocol coach and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. She can be reached at (216) 970-5889 and email@example.com.