BUSINESS

Being positive makes a difference in the workplace

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Mac Hinojos
Oxford Stories
jmhinojo@go.olemiss.edu

The flames grew higher as smoke, accompanied by the smell of freshly cooked hamburgers, filled the sky. His hands were greasy and dirty from the charcoal, sweaty from the heat. But the sound of The Beach Boys satisfied his ears as he watched young college students entertain themselves with football and other activities.

Jesse Morgan, 67, is the house manager of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and one of many employees of the Kappa Sigma International Housing Corporation. He has worked with Kappa Sigma for several years, and hopes to continue working many more. Morgan is a hard worker and credits a healthy and enjoyable working environment as his motivation.

“Part of what makes my job enjoyable is the people that I work with, along with all the kids that come through our fraternity doors each day,” said Morgan. “Everyone is friendly. Their positivity rubs off on me and the rest of the staff, which I believe motivates us to be hard workers.”

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Surrounding yourself in a positive and enjoyable working environment is just as important as selecting a career. Even if the career might seem like the perfect choice, a negative or poor working environment might make working less enjoyable.

“I think it is important that [college students] realize that they need to get involved in companies and organizations that have positive attitudes and a great environment to work,” Morgan said. “If you see your boss or coworkers be negative or provide a poor workplace, then your motivation to work hard will quickly disappear.”

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Zack Ray, 21, is a petroleum engineering major at Texas A&M  University. The Midland, Texas native plans to move back to Midland after college and work in the petroleum industry.

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“Being an engineer major at Texas A&M is difficult,” said Ray, “because you have to put in 100 percent of your effort to achieve your goals and get your degree.

“I have surrounded myself with other students who provide a positive study environment and help motivate me to be the best student I possibly can be.”

Ray has discovered that surrounding yourself with the right people motivates you to do your best.

“There is a connection between working hard and a steady and positive workplace,” said Ray. “The positive people I have surrounded myself with to get me through college has helped me understand that I should probably get involved with the same kind of positive people when selecting a career that perhaps I will do for the rest of my life.”

Like Ray, Morgan believes you feed off of the positivity of the people you surround yourself with.

“I work hard every day because of the people I work with, and the kids at Kappa Sigma,” said Morgan. “They come into the kitchen smiling and always ask how I am doing and make conversation with me. Their care and positivity pushes me to work hard because, at the end of the day, my hard work makes their smile even bigger, as well as mine.”

Breckyn McLean, a junior at Texas Tech University, has adopted this philosophy for her employment as a hostess at On The Border Mexican Restaurant in Midland, Texas.

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“My manager and coworkers at On the Border are always encouraging me to do the best work I can,” said McLean. “Being a hostess can be stressful at times, but they help me stay focused and positive at work so I can get my job done.”

McLean is an accounting major at Texas Tech University and plans to pursue a future as a private accountant.

“I know my career path is going to be difficult and challenging at times,” said McLean, “but I hope I surround myself with good people who will keep me focused and motivated. It won’t be the easiest job, but I know I will be happy if I pick the right working environment for me. I need coworkers who are positive and will help me up when I am down.”

Morgan, Ray and McLean all demonstrate that their success and happiness have come from the people they surround themselves with. Positive people will help you stay motivated and focused.

According to Morgan, being happy is everything. “I am proud of what I do here at Kappa Sigma,” he said. “My time here has been enjoyable thanks to all of the people I have been blessed with in my life. These guys here [at Kappa Sigma] get me out of bed in the morning with a fresh start to a new day and many blessings.”

Morgan said he hopes everyone can experience a workplace environment like his. “My advice to young students is to surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you,” said Morgan. “So, when you’re looking for a career or a job, make sure the people who work there are kind and positive because it will rub off on you and make you enjoy working for that [workplace].”

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