Training for Work Tutor Amanda White 

Unemployment rates are at a record low – dipping to 3.2% at the end of last year. Economic growth and closed borders have contributed to the worker shortage and many businesses are struggling to recruit staff. If you are looking, there is work out there, and if you want a job, there’s a good chance you’ll get a job!

Although skills, knowledge and experience are clearly an advantage in your job search, according to employers the most important attribute in a candidate is a good attitude.

Why? Because a candidate with a good attitude and a positive outlook generally makes a reliable, motivated, pro-active employee, with a good work ethic and a willingness to learn. They meet challenges with confidence and are a positive influence on the team. A positive outlook is shown to increase happiness in yourself and those around you, and who wouldn’t prefer a happier workplace?

Examining, and adjusting your attitude may be the answer to landing the job, or promotion, you really want. Feeling like you won’t make the cut, being overly defensive or unwilling to change may be holding you back from progressing in your career.

A big tell for employers can be the way you approach a problem or bad outcome. There’s a difference between making an excuse and giving a valid reason, and it’s important to know the difference and to recognise it.

A reason is a valid explanation, while an excuse is intended to justify, or excuse your actions (or lack of action!) when you meet an obstacle.

The key difference here is your intention – if you intend to overcome the obstacle you have met – that’s a reason.

If you don’t intend to do anything towards overcoming the obstacle – that’s an excuse.

For example, someone might habitually arrive late for work or class, blaming the weather, traffic, or other forces, for their tardiness.

Instead, that person could apologise and explain what they’ll do next time to make sure it doesn’t happen again (for example, setting their alarm earlier, or taking a different route).

A good attitude is sometimes the difference between a mistake being accepted, or it causing a problem for an employer.

Taking a positive approach and recognising the way you react to obstacles in life, can have a huge bearing on your success in the workforce. Add a friendly, approachable manner, be punctual, use your initiative and be willing to look at things in a new way, and you’ll be a valued employee.

The Tai Poutini Polytechnic Training for Work programme can help with the practical side of entering the workforce – qualifications, job applications, interviewing skills and what is expected in the workplace. We help you to build confidence and to work towards achieving your career goals, and our programme has the highest success rate for outcomes in New Zealand.

But the best thing you can bring to class is a great attitude. We can’t change that, it’s up to you!

Last year, Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Training for Work programme once again topped the country in its work to support students into jobs through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) programme:

For more information contact:
Mequa Hourston, Leader - Engagement
DDI: 03 7699 405
Mobile: 027 237 5844