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PRIDE is often confused with arrogance, especially in the workplace. Somehow, there is a negative connotation to the idea of appreciating the amount of work that went into achieving a desired outcome, and the overall result is a decrease in quality.
Think of the small things that happen every day:
You are in a store, when you see a piece of trash on the floor. You watch an employee walk right by without even stopping, even though you know they saw the trash.
You are in a restaurant, and the waiter/waitress has a large stain from food on their uniform. How likely are you to think that is a little gross?
You are walking through a store, and have a question about a product. Two employees are relatively close (equidistant); one with cleaned and well-tended clothes who is also well groomed. The other gives the appearance of not caring how their clothes look, whether they are clean or even if they are severely wrinkled. Which one do you approach?
We see things every day that influence our opinion about a company, the employees, and even the customers. Companies know this, and this is the reason why wait staff in restaurants wear aprons, why there are dress codes in most companies, and one of the reasons why employers have face-to-face interviews.
If you want to be successful in anything, you really have to take pride in yourself. Notice, I’m not saying you need to be arrogant. There is a difference. There are several areas where pride is important, and when you look at all the successful people in any industry, you will see that they all share similar qualities.
Pride in appearance: Your appearance is the first thing that everybody sees, and for many, how they will judge you for the remainder of your contact with them. It seems so simple, but there are things that you need to make sure you are doing to make this interaction positive. Start with staying clean. (I know, this sounds stupid, but believe me when I tell you that there are many people who need to read this blog for JUST this tip!!) Also, make sure you keep well-groomed. I’m a little lazy when it comes to shaving, but the upshot is that I really can’t grow any decent facial hair. Guys, you need to stay clean shaven, or, if you decide to grow a beard or mustache, keep it trimmed and clean as well. Girls, if you wear make-up, try not to look like you are auditioning for the circus. It doesn’t look good.
You need to also make sure your clothes are clean, and in good repair. Your (or your parents’) ability to afford clothes notwithstanding, you need to make sure that your clothes aren’t stained, worn, frayed, torn, or otherwise not in good repair. When I was young, I only had one pair of slacks and two dress shirts (this was before I went to a parochial school where slacks and oxford shirts were part of the uniform) that I could wear to work. I would put these clothes on at the last possible minute before my shift started, and as soon as I was clocked out, I would change out of them. The clothes were cleaned daily, ironed and hung, and my mom would immediately repair any damage done throughout the day (sewing).
I suppose I could also mention that you should work on staying healthy and fit, but I understand that there are some medical issues. The important thing is that you need to carry yourself to the best of your ability no matter your fitness level.
Pride in your performance: This one will be a little shorter. I know there are times when you can do less than your best and everything works out okay. I know that there are days when you just want to slack off a little. You may be a little sick, you may be having a bad day, or you may not really like your job that much. The thing is, when you are young, you are more in competition to keep your job than many young people believe. As a manager, I also have bad days. Some of those bad days mean that I have to get rid of an employee. Now, you could play the odds that our bad days won’t be the same day, but that’s pretty risky. Better that you do your best at all times. If you consistently perform at 100%, I will be a whole lot more likely to overlook the one time you bring me 70%.
Learn as much as you can about doing your job. Become an expert. Be the person that others come to when they need help. Doing this shows your employer that you are also looking out for the best interests of the company. Most importantly, completely internalize all of the QUALITIES OF SUCCESS . By doing this, you will show not only your bosses, but your customers, and the rest of the world that you have what it takes to succeed.