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His attitude died quite awhile ago. The only problem is that no one took the time to bury him. Vampires, the “living dead.” Is there one at your company? The good news about the real vampires is they could only do damage after the sun went down. They could never hold a 9-5 job. Exposure to daylight would burn and kill them instantly. These night stalkers would do their dirty work by neckline fang insertion, drawing out the blood of their victims. The victim would then transform into a vampire clan member. You could easily identify this type of vampire, notice the black cape and fangs. OK, so much for the refresher course on vampires. Please read on.

I need to caution you that there are career-destroying, daylight vampires among us. They’re difficult to identify, because they look like the rest of us, some in business suits and some business casual, some are friends. These vampires have very different sucking habits because they feed on the invisible world of words, motivation and attitudes. They discourage, proclaiming, “I told you not to try that.” They inhibit, “It can’t be done” and “You can’t do that.” They persuade, “What if you fail?” The sucking is not your blood, it’s your positive energy leaving your body when in their company. Their veiled smiles often reveal their true intentions. They want companionship. They want you. If they can’t succeed, why should you? If you feel your red blood count and positive energy level is getting low, here are a few tips to defend yourself and improve your career health.

Do not confide in or socialize with negative people. Do not listen or politely agree with their negatives. Do not participate in water cooler gossip. Do not share your goals or plans for the future. Walk away when necessary.

When you feel drained and discouraged, find positive reinforcement from good friends and family. Listen to an old motivational tape in your library. Read the positive book that has been waiting for you. Get closer to the high-energy people at work. Spend some time alone to evaluate your progress.

The real vampires can’t be seen in a mirror. The career vampires can’t see themselves working in a positive environment. Strive every day to keep your workplace as positive as possible. It’s a verbal cross used to confront them directly and state, “You are a negative influence and I’d rather not hear your comments.”

RECAP: Be on guard at all times. Protect your motivation and attitude. Just as sunlight will destroy the real vampire, maintaining a positive focus on your career will repel the daylight career vampires.

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George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.