Be original, and you’ll have more fun doing your job.
Think about the time when your business was just getting off the ground. Difficult as it may have been, it was pretty exciting because you either had a great new idea for a product, or you wanted to productively build on an established product or service.
It was exciting to build something of your own, something that you knew could be successful because you could do it better than anyone else. One of the greatest joys of running your own business is the freedom to create anything you want.
You’re not working to build someone else’s empire, but instead you are striving to make a statement about who you are, in the way you do business. If you continue to keep that kind of an attitude towards your business, then you’ll always have fun doing it—and what’s the point, if you’re not having fun?
Many of us assume our jobs are static. Meaning, we don’t have the freedom that others do. That’s not true. In Originals, Grant shares the story of a workshop created for Google employees to help them see how much control they had over their jobs, and subsequently, impact on their own workplace satisfaction. When challenged to look at their familiar jobs in an unfamiliar way, they rewired their brains to take charge and create a more ideal role based on the ability their ability to be original.
Why not try it for yourself? Here’s what to do…
A) Identify a task at work that you don’t enjoy. Dive into what frustrates you about the task. Identify the pain points and what would need to change to make the task more enjoyable.
B) Come up with several ideas of how you could do the task differently. Solicit feedback from your peers. Brainstorm with them to gather more input and ideas and make them feel welcome, you might even add small things at your workplace like the best office coffee machine and some days have special treats.
C) Prepare a pitch to your boss as to why you’d like to do the task differently. Be clear in how it detracts from your ability to do your job as well as you’d like.
NOTE: Be sure to provide some stats and data to support why making this change is not just beneficial for you, but for the company as well. Your goal is to minimize any objections. When you can clearly quantify how you will save or make a company money, they are always more likely to consider your suggestions.
D) Choose the right time to have a conversation with your manager. Consider timing and your manager’s communication style. You don’t want to blind-side your boss when you present, so give her or him a heads-up you plan to pitch an idea and be sure to mention you’re prepared with data to help validate why it’s good for business.
P.S. – Getting Promoted = Potential Byproduct Of Being An Original
People who get promoted are problem-solvers. They take initiative. They’re proactive. They look for ways to add value and make a measurable difference. Sound familiar? That’s because they’re all positive characteristics of an original. Which begs the question: what are you waiting for? As Grant’s Originals proves, the path to greater career success and satisfaction begins with challenging yourself to break free of the golden handcuffs of conformity.
Fast Company Magazine Co-Founder Bill Taylor on examples of successful innovation outside of the tech sector.
Watch the video here