“Love my job? You have to be kidding, right?”
Let’s face it, showing enthusiasm for your work sounds downright embarrassing, especially if your co-workers happen to be your friends. If you are new to the workforce or are underemployed, you might be thinking that your pay or working conditions are just not suitable for human dignity, and don’t even talk about the uniform, right? It is normal to feel a little humiliated about work because we live in a western society where everyone is equal, yet what we experience at work doesn’t seem to back it up. As a result, we tend to achieve some balance by dialing back on our feelings about work.
Don’t say a word, take an action.
One other thing about western societies is they encourage people to speak their minds and “be heard”, but speaking up in the workplace often causes big problems. For instance, a dramatic complaint might entertain the other workers for a while but only wind up leaving you with a negative reputation, or worse, an upset boss. What’s the solution? Say nothing about the job that doesn’t need to be said — show your enthusiasm through what you do, and not by putting on a show. Address your difficulties by changing what you do rather than through confrontation. Such approaches will go a long way toward breaking the vicious cycle of feeling on the spot from putting yourself on the spot before others.
Remember: It’s not all about you.
Human beings are really sensitive, your boss is one of them, and can tell what kind of mood you’re in by body language alone. Scared? Don’t be. Chances are your boss has many more frustrations than you do and isn’t paying close attention to you, only your work. As long as your work doesn’t become a problem, you’re good! More importantly, if your boss isn’t conscious of you, there’s no need for you to be self-conscious, which will allow you to relax, manage your frustrations, and focus on doing great work! By the same token, showing and explaining results to your boss is much more powerful than sharing ideas.
Try your hardest not to dread the idea of doing what you are asked (or told) to do, because this attitude shows through very easily in how we act, to the words we speak, and even to the choices we make. Very few of us will ever be at the top of the heap, so maintaining the attitude that the world is ours will not do us any favors unless it really is so. The odds are extremely small that any one of us is going to rocket from an entry-level position to an executive one, so do yourself a favor and take the truth as a guideline, not a limit. Be content with the universe you have been given and enjoy watching it grow.
Remember: It’s all about you.
If this all sounds like you’re going to lose your identity and place in the world think again, what you are really trying to do is to build your identity as a professional. You may not see yourself staying in your current job as a career, but by being a devoted employee you can build valuable work skills and a stellar reputation that will help you to the next level. By doing and improving your work deliberately you will be better able to explain what you are doing and why so that when the boss does visit you’ll be caught doing awesome!
Pay attention and listen.
The greatest thing you can do in any kind of relationship is to try your very hardest to understand who is speaking to you, even if you disagree. In fact, try to understand what you are being told the first time around, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Asking a question because you weren’t listening will not help your cause, but asking a question because you were listening will show your interest and loyalty.
Hint: Every cliché you’ve ever heard about work is probably useful.
You’ve heard them all: “Apply yourself.” “Be a team player.” “Do what you’re told.” “Haste makes waste.” “Listen.” “Start small.” “You can only change yourself.”, etc… All of these sayings came from people who went through what you are going through right now. Save yourself some trouble, and impress your boss!
The bottom line.
Listen carefully? Do what you’re told? This doesn’t sound like anything special. After all, even the boss doesn’t ask for anything extraordinary! Exactly. Many people are under the impression that you need to hit everything out of the park to get noticed and achieve immediate results. The world doesn’t work this way because it can’t work this way. A television show is a half hour and a movie might be two, but your success story will take a lifetime — see to it that you enjoy writing it.