A Recipe for Workplace Success: The Four A’s are the Soup de Jour!

Being successful in the workplace can mean many different things, but the purpose of this treatise is to provide the reader with an acute awareness of what it takes to make a successful impact on the workforce; and it has nothing to do with hard skills or education. When a workplace environment has a cross-pollination of cultures and different backgrounds there are a few key components that will help with the transition, not only to help you obtain employment, but more importantly in helping to maintain the employment because being able to sustain employment is extremely important, especially in a cantankerous labour market. The writer has deduced that there are four main components that will help anyone succeed in the workplace and they are as follows:


If you cannot commit to an employer by showing up on time, ready to work, then your employer will unfortunately reciprocate because like anything in life, you get out of something what you put in.  With attendance or lack there of becoming more and more problematic for employers, it is of utmost importance that you show your level of commitment through your actions; by your attendance. When attendance is mentioned not only is the writer referring to being on the job physically, but mentally as well. Attendance can also mean: Punctuality, Commitment, Involvement and Passion. Employers want someone who wants to be there, now we have all had jobs of a “survival” nature, but our commitment to the employer will show in our work ethic. When an employee is not in attendance, there is not much an employer can do; you cannot be coached, trained, nurtured or revered if you do not show up. Not showing up for work or on time is a barrier to building trust and like in any relationship; personal or professional, trust is a foundation. Not having the trust of your employer or fellow colleagues will make life for you at any job, very difficult.


Attitude is Everything! People that succeed in life generally do so by having a great attitude. Having a good, positive and upbeat attitude can and will permeate the workplace environment and will empower others to do the same.  It is very difficult to be around a person that never displays anything but indifference, intolerance and impatience. Depending on the sector of employment that you work in, your attitude can be the sole reason for your success. Question: do you think that servers in restaurants that are aloof get good tips? No, of course they do not. Case and point, when you are working with people especially people that are struggling with life, making that person laugh and feel better about themselves can be the determining factor in their success.  The best and most appropriate time to display your attitude is when you first start your new job; there is no better way to endear yourself to your colleagues then being energetic and happy. Yes, even for those of you that are introverted, you can display a positive attitude if not through your words, definitely through your actions. Dress up for Halloween, participate in the holiday season activities, participate in company events, all of the aforementioned items can be a great way for you introverts to show off your positive attitude.


If one is going to lead, they must first do so by example. One of the superlative attributes that a leader can exude is accountability. Human beings are fallible therefore, subject to making mistakes; learning from those mistakes is what will allow for you to become a competent, confident and congruent professional. When someone in the workplace makes a mistake it is vital to report and admit that mistake. There should be no fear of reprimand or reprisal because any proficient manager or employer will understand that people do in fact make mistakes and more often than not, when a mistake is identified and a solution forthcoming, then the team can debrief to prevent it from happening again. Furthermore, if you work for an employer and you fear reprimand by telling them that you made a mistake; why do you want to work for them? In summation, if you make a mistake do not throw a grenade at the rest of your staff, own the mistake and learn from it because I am reminded of a quote by Albert Einstein that reads” the definition of insanity is making the same mistake over and over again, expecting a different result”.

Ability to Learn

One of Canada’s nine essential skills is continuous learning and that concept parallels the ability to learn. The ability to learn is simply; being teachable. Even if you have been entrenched in a sector of employment for a long time and are confident in your ability, you still want to start your new job fresh and willing to learn. One of the things that an employer is looking for when they hire you is how you will fit in with the existing team.  If you can show your new employer that you play for the name on the front of the jersey and not for the name on the back, then you will be successful. Being teachable shows humility and being humble will allow for you to become teachable in the workplace because learning is a life long endeavor, we learn until the day that we die.  The writer believes that you gather intelligence by learning from your mistakes, but that you gather wisdom by learning from others mistakes, so try and practice then apply the aforementioned ideals and they will become part of your tool kit.