How to Make the Best of Work You Don't Enjoy
- Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content Creation, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, March 30, 2020
Doing Things You Don't Enjoy
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a grown up. Now that I'm a grown up, I want to be a kid again. Why?
I didn't realize just how much of adulthood involved doing things I don't enjoy.
This "Task Aversion," as I like to call it, doesn't just involve my personal life — paying the mortgage, buying groceries, changing the oil in the car — I've experienced task aversion in my work-life as well.
There have been many times in my career when I had to do things that were outside of my comfort zone. Early on, I had a fear of public speaking. That is a very common aversion for most people. I overcame that, but I retain the discomfort of social gatherings where I have to make small talk with people I don't know. Attending networking meetings and mingling is a task that requires a fair bit of effort. I get through it, but I always feel drained afterward.
Some people I know thrive in situations like that. They relish the idea of meeting new people and do so with ease and natural skill. To me, they're freaks of nature. I envy that freakishness and wish I was more like them.
What makes me and them have completely different reactions to the same circumstance? Why does one person excel at engaging strangers while I struggle at it?
After taking the Core Values Index psychometric assessment, I now have definitive answers to questions like these.
The Answers Lie In Your Core Values Index Psychometric Profile
My inability to embrace and win at the sociability game is not from a lack of character or training or any other trait that is within my control. It is based on how I am emotionally hardwired.
The folks that can meet new people and strike up an engaging conversation and develop rapport — and enjoy doing it — are emotionally hardwired that way. It is what they naturally enjoy doing.
How are you hardwired? Take the CVI to find out.
In a perfect world, you would never have to do something you don't enjoy. That perfect world doesn't exist, so we are left with the reality that we sometimes have to do things we find tedious or boring. To get around that, we must look for information and tools and tips and techniques that help us get done what needs to get done, remembering all the while what Alistair Cooke said:
A professional is someone that can do their best work even when they don't feel like it.
Once you've taken the Core Values Index psychometric assessment and read your full report, you will have access to a very useful trick that enables you to make the best of work you don't enjoy.
In your perfect world, you will be doing things that align with your primary core value energy. If you are a Builder, you will enjoy taking charge and getting things done. If you are an Innovator, your bliss will be found solving challenging problems.
In this imperfect world we live in, however, we sometimes find ourselves having to engage in tasks that utilize our minor, or lowest, core value energy. Your minor core value energy defines what constitutes your personal hell of drudgery and tedium.
You can get through tedious and boring tasks and produce solid results if you know this one simple trick:
It sounds simple and it is — if you know your Core Values Index psychometric profile. Here are some examples.
Let's say your profile is Innovator/Banker/Merchant/Builder. This means Innovator is your primary core value energy and Builder is your minor (lowest) energy.
You are tasked with leading a team project with a tight deadline.
This requires a healthy dose of Builder energy, that powerful leadership style that thrives on getting things done. But that's not you, it's not how you are hardwired. That kind of energy is the least available to you within your psychometric profile.
Here's the trick to get the job done:
Find a way to feed your Innovator's spirit. Look at the situation like a challenging problem that needs to be solved. Develop an algorithm that enables everyone on the team to optimize their effort toward the common goal. Plan an efficient timetable that will revolutionize and streamline the project plan.
Engage the effort from your primary core value energy's perspective and you will get through it successfully.
If your primary core value energy is Banker, find a way to perform the task in a methodical way. Make a detailed list based on thorough research and data. Find an established algorithm or recipe and follow it precisely.
If your primary core value energy is Merchant, engage and motivate others to help, with everyone pulling together toward the common goal.
Frame your challenge through the lens of your primary core value energy and you will be able to do your best work even when you don't feel like it.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content Creation, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.
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