Do you stare at unread messages in your inbox and feel absolutely no desire to open them? In fact, do you search for something (anything) to do besides opening those unread e-mails? LinkedIn, Facebook, Google News…
Do you leave projects unfinished because no one will ever notice whether they are finished or not?
Do you work a little, distract yourself, scold yourself, work a little, distract yourself, scold yourself, work a little, get up to get a drink, and then start the whole process over again?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are either lazy, or underemployed.
Today, I want to talk to the underemployed. You are better than your job and probably better than your boss. You are under utilized, under challenged, and probably losing your edge, which drives you nuts. Don’t give up. The worst thing you could do is doom yourself to your own job for one more day than is necessary. You can enjoy your job again. You can enjoy it for as long as you are in it. If you do the three things listed below, you will enjoy work and you will move on to a much bigger challenge sooner than you think possible. Good things come to those who give their all no matter what.
Jot these three ideas down- and do them! You will notice the difference immediately.
- Define your position. Don’t let it define you
Your job does not describe who you are or what skills you have. You can do everything in your job description and so much more. Make it clear to your boss and co-workers (through performance, not words) that you won’t limit yourself to your job description. You are better, smarter, and worth more than the desk you occupy, so don’t limit yourself to everyone’s image of your position. Blow their mind with what you can make happen from your desk.
- Take the initiative. Don’t wait for your boss to give you additional projects
I bet you string out the work you have because if you really sat down and did it at your normal pace, you’d be done in about 20 minutes. The problem is, if you finish it in 20 minutes, you have to look busy for the rest of the day. Looking busy is much harder than actually being busy. Don’t wait for assignments. Ask for a new project (or propose your own) as soon as you finish your work. Bug your boss until he gets sick of hearing from you. He’ll either give you much larger responsibilities or you will be poached by another department that appreciates work ethic.
- Leave your signature on every project you touch
Make sure you complete every project ahead of schedule, under budget, and/or add awesome features no one else thought of. Every project you touch should have your name written up, down, and across it so everyone knows the quality of your work. Do this, and your name will precede your work. Projects, special requests, and promotions will fall at your feet based on the reputation you create for yourself.
Do these three things and you will be well on your way to enjoying your job again. You will probably be faced with a new problem. You won’t have time to enjoy your current job because you’ll be offered a new one. Enjoy!
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