The Best Way to Stay Excited About Your Work: Take a Job You’re Not Quite Qualified For
We spend so much of our lives at work. While making money, having good benefits, and experiencing marked success are important, it might also be nice to actually be excited about the job you do. The benefits of having enthusiasm about your work, and passion for your job, are not to be underestimated, and staying challenged and stimulated by your occupation might just be the key.
(Photo Credit: xJason.Rogersx/Flickr)
Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Insider Network, MPW Insider, is an online community that asks the biggest names in business to answer questions about leadership and careers. This month, one question posed was, “How do you stay excited about your job?” Liz Wiseman, president of Wiseman Group and author of the book Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work, provided a fascinating response that deserves further consideration.
Wiseman’s recommendation? If you want to be happy at work, never take a job you’re qualified for:
“I began to see that the best jobs are often the ones we’re not ‘ready’ for. In our rookie state a certain genius gets sparked and a learner’s advantage kicks in. When we are stretched beyond our current capabilities, we can tap into a different mindset — what I have come to call rookie smarts — where we perform at our best and revel in the thrill of learning.”
Here are some tips for finding your next challenge.
1. Try taking a new position within your company.
One way to step out of your comfort zone and into a more exciting career is to consider working within a new domain. If you work in one department, think about whether or not you might enjoy spending time in another. What skills would you like to exercise that you haven’t utilized lately? Consider trying something new, even if it feels like you’re unqualified to do so.
2. Think about your skills, not just your experience.
Remember, you bring more to your job than just your professional experience. The skills you bring to the table qualify you for many positions that you might not consider when you’re only thinking of your experience. Maybe you’re an excellent writer, or a fantastic communicator. Maybe you’re highly organized, or uniquely adept at working with data. Think about how you could apply your skills to a job that seems out of your reach. The experience is easy to obtain. It’s the skills that take time to develop.
3. Talk to your employer.
Your talents, your passions, and your intelligence are valuable to your employer and they want you to utilize them as much as possible. After taking an honest look in the mirror to discover what your next great professional adventure might be, have a talk with your employer where you share this vision. Enthusiasm and renewed purpose are very appealing, and you might be surprised by the way your ideas are received.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you experience renewed enthusiasm by taking a job you weren’t quite qualified to do? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.
Gina Belli works as a teacher, freelance writer, and educational consultant, and lives in her beloved home state, Connecticut. She likes to write about education, work-life balance, and the economy. Given her arresting capacity to over-analyze anything interpersonal, her writing often tends to focus on some of the more emotional aspects of workplace connections and disconnections, as they relate to partnerships and teams, personality and communication styles, and leadership. In her free time, she likes to putter around her renovated one-room schoolhouse home, take walks in the woods, and eat as much guacamole as she can get her hands on.