Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

How to Keep Doing Your Best, Even When Your Job Doesn’t Require It

It is obviously really important to do your best at work. However, sometimes the job you have doesn’t require a whole lot of effort on your part. Whether it’s an entry level job, or you’ve had to take a job that you’re overqualified for, sometimes it’s easy to just do the minimum required work and let your real talents languish. Don’t let this happen to you! Here are some tips for staying sharp and continuing to do your best, even when your job doesn’t require it.

Look for better ways to do your job
If you could do your current job in your sleep, take a few extra steps to make your performance really shine. The CS Monitor suggests that you either develop new ways to do an old task (e.g. fix your client database so it updates automatically), or incorporate special touches into your current performance (e.g. start writing thank-you notes to people who deserve them).

Volunteer for other office tasks
Hearing crickets at the boardroom table after the call for a blood drive coordinator? Your hand should be in the air. Taking on extra responsibility around the office can look great on a resume, raise your profile, and be a great excuse for a break from your day-to-day work. There’s no down side. Look for organizational work, computer favors and in general any chance to learn something new.

Ask for a performance review
This is one of the quickest ways to show initiative and to get a good sense of how you are actually doing at work. Let your employer know that performance is important to you, and you want to have a chance to have a dedicated discussion about it. During the review, pay special attention to anything your employer wants you to improve. Additionally, use this time to bring up any of the extra little tasks you’ve been doing around the office. Not only will you get to brag a little, your boss will have the chance to think about giving you more dynamic assignments.

Reward yourself for a job well done

Improving your performance at work can be pretty thankless in the beginning, and it can be tempting to just keep sliding by. Make a list of rewards that you can give yourself when you start to accomplish some of the things above. If you ask for a performance review, schedule that manicure. If you volunteer to revamp the office website, nab the upcoming Avenger’s Blu-ray.

Keep up the good work, even if you don’t have to. Your future self will thank you!

Have you ever had a job where you could slack off? Tell us about it below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of SmashingBuzz

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.