Make It Matter: Overcome Cynicism and Own Your Job

Make It Matter: Overcome Cynicism and Own Your Job by Laura Stack Have you noticed how one negative person at work can infect an entire department? How has your attitude been at work and life lately? And how can cynicism impact productivity? Some things you just can’t legislate. But you can change yourself and how you perceive your situation.

Most workers are not terminally cynical, but I’ve seen enough to explain the 17-20% job disengagement rate repeatedly reported by business pollsters over the last decade, and the much higher semi-engaged rate.

The difficult economic times we’re still emerging from may have made you feel betrayed by your company, as many employers pressed their advantages over workers who didn’t dare quit in an uncertain economy. For many workers, this hurts still lingers, which can get in the way of enjoying or at least tolerating your job.

How can you get over your own cynicism?

  • Decide to feel better about life and focus on the good things. The more we affirm what’s working well, the better off we are—and the easier it becomes to heal.
  • Find a way to be your own boss. Modern technology, specialization, and worker attitude makes this easier now than ever before.
  • Kill cynicism with vibrancy and push on. Take responsibilities for your own mental health, so you can better mesh with your teammates and increase team productivity.
  • Don’t let cynicism ruin you—or worse, kill you. In 2009, a women’s health study revealed that optimistic women live longer and have less heart disease than cynical ones. No doubt the same is true for men.

Even when we’re cynical about it, we all know positive thinking makes us feel better.