A job is so much more than helping a corporation or a boss earn more money. There are many levels to work that people miss out on because they're too caught up in their goals. I don't advocate blowing off your goals, but I encourage everyone to find other aspects that help them enjoy their work and become better at their job.
Most people want to accomplish the tasks that they are assigned, but there are many ways to get the job done as well as increase your enjoyment at work.
I disliked talking on the phone. I thought it was a waste of time, until I began to improve my skills. When my communication became more fluent I began to enjoy trying to improve the mood of the person on the other end of the line. I stopped worrying about my own mistakes and became a better listener. I would ask them how their family was or how their day was going, trying to make the conversation more dynamic rather than just asking how many units they were shipping me, thanks, good bye.
Next time you are about to get on the phone, give yourself a little goal. It may be to have a clear conversation or to try a joke to get the other person to laugh. I find self deprecating jokes work really well over the phone.
You'll notice that when you challenge yourself to improve the happiness of the person on the other end of the line, you'll be more likely to extract joy from the situation.
Speaking to groups of people used to be as frightening as being trapped in a room full of snakes. It still makes my heart beat pick up its pace, but I've learned to push past these uncomfortable feelings by volunteering for presentations. I wanted to improve my speaking skills, and the only way to do that was to jump in front of a crowd and give it my best.
If you have trouble speaking to groups of people, then try looking at it from different angles. Fear is only one emotion out of many that may occur when speaking to groups. You need to stop labeling this feeling with just one word: "fear." Try rephrasing it with "excitement" or "high energy." You'll open yourself up to new ways of defining your emotions, which should help you get out in front of people.
I had an old Toastmasters friend tell me, "If you don't take the opportunity to speak to groups, then you aren't giving people all the knowledge that can help them become better." A good public speaker is there for himself as well as the audience. You can learn to improve your communication skills as well as impart wisdom on to the audience.
I've always been an advocate of continuous learning. It brings fresh ideas to an organization and lets employees know that the company wants them to succeed.
Many companies are also catching on to the dynamic work environment because it keeps people motivated. When people learn other co-worker's jobs, they are able to learn more about the business, which makes them more valuable and allows them to satisfy their curiosity. People love to know how co-workers and managers do their jobs.
Your company may not give you much training or prepare you for different jobs, but you can still extract plenty of information yourself. Don't be afraid to talk to a co-worker or a manager who has a set of skills that you admire. Ask them if you can help them for a few hours. They may see that you care about the company and it could give you a better chance for promotion. You will probably be surprised by how many people could use a hand to knock out some of their work. Knowledge at work is everywhere, if you allow the curiosity to come out.
There are thousands of ways to enjoy a job besides just reaching sales goals or finishing projects. It's up to you to implement creative ideas that help you accomplish your job, but also inject a little enjoyment and improvement into your work.
What is your favorite way to enjoy your job that wouldn't be in your job description?
About the author
Karl Staib writes about unlocking and kicking open the door to working happy at his own blog: Work Happy Now! If you enjoyed this article, you may like to subscribe to his feed or read one of his most popular articles, 7 Tips to Process Your Stress Faster and 8 Mental Boosts that Never Fail.