You’ve got your work down to a system. You’ve been doing it long enough so that you know what to do, how to do it, and get your assigned tasks and duties done well (for the most part) and on time (for the most part), regardless of whether you’re assigning your “to-dos” to yourself or you have a boss who does that. You get that cost-of-living increase most years, or your customer base grows a little every year, so all should be well.
Yet you’re plagued by an undercurrent of dissatisfaction. It all seems so hum-drum. Like you’re on a pleasant but oh-so-predictable treadmill. It’s not bad, but it’s not the stuff dreams are made of. And certainly not the stuff promotions, raises, and quantum leaps in income or reputation are made of. But you don’t want to work fifty times harder than you already do, thank you very much. You don’t want to sacrifice every waking moment of your life to “the job” – much less go out and find a new job - and you need the income, so quitting isn’t an option. You groan, hunker down, open the word doc that’s next on your list, and ignore the gnawing sensation of boredom and futility in your stomach.
Yet what if I told you that the solution is available right here, right now. That there is a way to supercharge your work and re-discover a powerful feeling of purpose and worthwhileness, which inevitably lead to increased rewards and recognition, without taking a single seminar, reading (yet another) motivational book, or buying someone’s miracle product.
All it takes is asking yourself the simple question “What is my value to my work, right now?” You see, your value to your work changes over time. When you first start, your value to your work is to show up and to learn how to do certain tasks. Later, your value to your work is to do those tasks with proficiency, and perhaps show others how to do them, or assist others in doing their tasks. What’s your value now? How can you contribute, given your level of experience and expertise, in ways that others might not think of?
For example, if you’re an employee, perhaps your value would be that you can see ways to do things more efficiently or productively than they are now being done. You can demonstrate that value by offering suggestions, recommendations, even coming up with presentations designed to show the worth of your ideas. Many ideas that power corporations and companies to new levels of success have come from those in the trenches. But first you have to believe in your value and be willing to express it.
If you’re your own boss, in the beginning years all you cared about was having enough clients/customers to put food on your table. Later, your value was in improving your offering. Maybe your current value is in having a sufficient loyal client or customer base that you can approach them to find out “How can I better serve you?” so that the ideas for how to quantum leap your business comes from end-users experience of your product or service.
Don’t let yourself be a work-hamster! Get off the treadmill of “always done it this way, always been this way,” and explore the wonderful unknown of “What if?” The more you invest of your own value into your work, the more value your work will have for you.