Fall in Love with Work
By Anna Davies
"Work" is never going to be synonymous with "play" — heck, that's why they pay you. Still, you can find inspiration and purpose even in a ho-hum job. Bonnie Kelly and Teresa Walsh, cofounders of Silpada Designs, a direct-sales jewelry company with thousands of representatives around the country, offer tips to help you cultivate passion for your work.
Tap into your talents.
Bonnie and Teresa had always loved jewelry, but it wasn't until the duo started helping their friends pick out the perfect baubles that they realized what they were doing was not only fun — it could also be a viable business. "Uncover your own skills by noticing what tasks you love to do," says Teresa. Do you lose track of time when you're scrapbooking? Do you actually look forward to organizing your closets? Once you know your strengths, meet with your manager to figure out ways to capitalize on them — or scout out a new work environment where you can maximize these talents.
"You'll never know who might inspire you to perform your best work," says Bonnie. Invite a cube mate to lunch or ask a coworker what she thought of last night's Brothers and Sisters.
Keep your skills sharp.
By networking, updating your résumé, or researching your dream job regularly, you can sync your goals with your current duties. If you hone the skills that you really enjoy — whether it's interacting with customers or coming up with marketing plans — you'll be fueling your passion daily and be ready to pounce when the right opportunity arises.
TAME YOUR COMMUTE
Make travel-to-work time more enjoyable with one of these tips from Jeffrey Brantley, M.D., coauthor of Five Good Minutes at Work.
DON'T GO STRAIGHT TO YOUR CAR. Instead, take a walk outside or spend some time in the parking lot stretching to relieve any tension that may have built up during the day. You'll loosen up your body and help clear your head.
LEAVE WORK AT WORK. Write down all your work woes on a piece of paper that you throw away as you head out the door, says Brantley.
RELAX! Realize that if the traffic is backed up for miles, there's nothing you can do. Concentrate on deep breaths — inhale, hold it for a few seconds, then exhale. Even if you want to scream, says Brantley, making your body calm down will eventually allow your mind to settle.
Originally published on January 10, 2008
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