If there's one life lesson the television show "The Walking Dead" teaches us, it's that you don't want to get bitten by zombies. Believe it or not, that can very much be applied to the workplace.
By this I mean -- watch out for zombies. We've all seen them, hanging out around the water cooler, gossiping and complaining about the job.
These people are the undead. They hate their jobs, and their negativity will spread like a plague if you get too close to it without your guard up.
Consider the following four lessons from the show:
1. Don't let the dead bite you. Surround yourself with positive people, and do your best to stay positive as well, even when you are stressed out.
Negativity can easily pollute a workplace, and no one wants to work around people who are grouchy all of the time. If others are bitter, stay positive, and see if you can persuade some of your co-workers to be more positive as well.
Luckily for us, we are not dealing with actual zombies, and there is a cure for the curmudgeons.
2. Chop off the limb, and you might survive. If you've watched the show, read the comics or played "The Walking Dead" game, you know that chopping off an infected area fast enough can save you from becoming a zombie.
In the workplace, try to figure out what's upsetting you and fix it as soon as possible. Are you holding a grudge? Go have a chat with your co-worker. Upset because a deadline is completely unrealistic? Ensure you clearly understood the task and, if it is indeed impossible to accomplish, have a conversation with your boss to try to change the parameters.
In a business context, chopping off the limb is a lot less painful than in the world of Rick Grimes.
3. Anything can be a weapon. Actually, this is a lesson from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program as well -- see, there are already similarities here. If you're close to becoming a zombie, use everything at your disposal to get that smile back. Have an article you have to write? Try making it tie into "Harry Potter" or "Game of Thrones" somehow.
If you can put up such defenses before ever approaching zombie land, even better.
4. Establish your posse. Find those you can trust, and keep them close. In the show, it's life or death, but for us it can be job or no job -- whether that's immediate, or when it comes time to look for that next gig.
You need to set yourself up with mentors, to help you make the right choices. Try to make a good impression on your co-workers so that they will both enjoy working with you and be willing to put in a good word for you when you enter the job market.
Can you do it alone? Sure, but you shouldn't have to, and it's much easier with help.
We hope that helps! If nothing else, now you can tell your significant other that you're watching "The Walking Dead" to stay positive at work. Mission accomplished.