Does work ever seem like and episode of The Office to you? There’s that person who’s always trying to do the least work possible (Stanley), that person who gets way too serious about birthdays/holidays/anything that requires planning (Angela), and, of course, that boss that makes everything a bit more… interesting (Michael Scott). Stereotypes, while potentially hurtful, usually come from somewhere. There’s no way that you haven’t made assumptions about a co-worker that you thought was lazy or erratic or just way too freekin’ cheerful all the time. And how often have those assumptions been correct? It’s true that an individual person is pretty distinct, but, at work, it doesn’t always matter who we are on the inside. If your boss has a temper like an active volcano, you probably aren’t too interested in the reason behind why they make your day more stressful. You just accept the fact that their attitude makes them pretty difficult to work with and file them away under “Hot-Head” in your mental Rolodex.
The attitude that you bring to work is important. Not only does your attitude effect your relationship to work and how much you enjoy it, but your attitude can also effect the relationships that your colleagues have with their jobs. For some great groupings of the most common workplace attitudes, here’s “4 Types of Job Attitudes” from CareerRealism. One of my favorites from this article was the “Job Lover.” This is the sort of person that is way more into accounting than you think is sane, the sort of person that makes you feel like you actually have a life (by comparison at least). While you might wish that you had the attention span to work during your lunch break, it’s much better to fall just outside of this stereotype: you love your job, but it isn’t everything.
Existing in an extreme is usually bad news. Even if that extreme is “positive” like the job lover archetype, there are definite drawbacks to not reigning it in every once in a while. As with most things, a balanced approach is usually best and, even though changing your attitude won’t happen over night, there are few things in life more valuable than being on an even keel.