Attitude Problems?

I walk into an office where I am treated like a friend. I see a candy wrapper lying on the floor and I automatically pick it up and put it in the trashcan. I say hello to the people who work there and ask them naturally: “A question, didn’t you see that wrapper on the floor?”

“Yes, we saw it earlier”, they respond with a smile, “and we called to have it picked up.”

I can’t help myself and I ask them with curiosity, “Why is it that you didn’t pick it up?

They look at me, and kindly answer: “That’s the maintenance guy’s job and he should be here any minute.”

I leave asking myself, “Since when is picking up a piece of paper from the floor the exclusive responsibility of someone else? Is it that they feel diminished by doing it, or maybe too big to do that simple task? Is this representative of the company’s principles?

I am very concerned about these people and the impact that their attitude and behavior could have on their employability. I think about how many others still live in the previous paradigm, in that culture of having a right to a job, of solely doing those things for which they are paid or were originally hired, with no flexibility, no ability or willingness to adapt, no desire to learn or to give more, and not wanting to leave their comfort zone, with low productivity. I worry about them, because maybe they do not see the new trends, blind to the huge changes that technology, automation, and artificial intelligence will soon bring to many types of jobs and industries in general. Above all, they seem to be oblivious to the new demands in productivity, competitiveness, up-to-dateness, and excellence in the performance of each of the professionals and workers who will live or survive these changes.

Remember that productivity and employability are intrinsically linked –the higher the level of employability, the higher the level of productivity, and vice versa. A culture of employability is one where people understand that their job is not a given right –much less earned forever or in spite of everything– but rather one that they earn repeatedly, every day of the week. Although this message may sound obvious and perhaps even repetitive, few have internalized it. Even today, there are few organizations that invest resources in promoting employability, in teaching this work culture where each of us, as an adult, is responsible for our own competitiveness.

Having a good level of employability, or being very employable, is not having a job, but rather it is having the right attitude and the personal decision to always be very productive. It is this good attitude that determines whether there will be a continuous demand for our professional services, in a context where no job at any level is assured.

And so, it was in the hope that my friends with the paper on the floor –or others like them– read these lines, that I sat down to write these lines, in case it may be useful or help them to become aware of the inescapable reality in which we live…

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El Comercio

The new normal is complex and challenging. Our best positive attitude will be decisive for us to adapt well, improve our professional profile, and move forward faster without looking back.

El Comercio

Original Spanish version published in  El Comercio newspaper on April 26, 2020 When this is all over, and it will be, many people will come out of it transformed. The crisis will have served to discover their true character, their grit and inner strength. And with that…

back Ines Temple Resilience

Being authentic requires showing yourself as you really are. It requires checking your ego at the door and not looking down on anyone. It requires courage and self-confidence, but also honesty and tact to “tell it like it is.”