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Weekly (3/21/11)

Topic of the Week  Limitless: Learning How to Enjoy Your Job:

Limitless: Learning How to Enjoy Your Job
As we emerge from one of the worst downturns in the history of the country, the concept of enjoying your job is probably foreign to most of us. But I'm going to show you that you not only can enjoy your job, but that's its easier than most of us realize. Which reminds me of the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. Sure they've got an artist's rendition of da Vinci's "The Last Supper" made from burned toast. But their latest treasure from Laura Bell of Roscommon, MI, is da Vinci's masterpiece made with clothes-dryer lint. Ms. Bell said she did about 800 hours of laundry of various-colored towels to obtain lint of the proper hues, and then worked 200 more hours to construct the 14-foot-long, 4-foot-high mural.
I'm guessing that few people are as passionate about their job as Laura Bell was about her clothes dryer lint. But if she can turn lint into art, can't you turn your job into something that's worth all the hours that you're putting into it? I've included three Do's and one Don't below to point you in the right direction. For more, check out "Three Signs of a Miserable Job" by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey Bass, 2007).
DO be known. It's easy to become invisible at work. But this is also one of the most dangerous things you can do. I'd prefer to see people looking for an area where they can make a contribution. In a recent job I saw one woman become insanely valuable because she knew how the building worked and where stuff was stored. We're not talking rocket science here, but just taking the time to be the person how knows a few essential bits of information.
DO be relevant. There are the money-making parts of most companies and the other parts that are just limping along. It's always smart to be attached to the departments that have the most important clients, the most financial upside or have garnered the attention of the big shots. Sure there is more pressure in these places, but I'd always rather be on the growing side of the business than on the declining side of it.
DO be measurable. Measurability has two great assets. First, you can document your accomplishments. But it doesn't stop there. Being able to measure your performance gives you an even bigger advantage, it allows you to learn how to improve the job you're doing. Most companies continue to keep process improvement measures in the hands of managers, but you need to do everything you can to get access to this information yourself. I've even known people who have gotten important information simply by buying a cup of coffee for people in the quality assurance department.
DON'T be aloof. Great jobs just don't grown on trees. You've got to learn how to improve your job, and yourself.
Follow these tips and you won't have to worry about your last supper at work, you'll be doing a great job and enjoying it too.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. Sherrie Campbell is a work relations expert and award-winning comedian. Check out their 13 years of searchable content at http://workplace911.com. They'd also love to hear your workplace rants or raves. Email them via bs@workplace911.com.

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"The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one."

–Oscar Wilde

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