10 January, 2011

Get excited about work

Freelance Folder wrote this post a while ago about getting excited about work again. 

I know for me, I struggle with doing something  am not overly passionate about. At my last job it was alleviated (some) by loving what the organization I worked for did. Here, while the work isn't always challenging, the couple I work for and the vision of the organization keeps me engaged. But, regardless of how amazing or ideal your job is (or isn't), I think we all suffer from boredom and monotony sometimes. 

Their advice for getting back in the mood to work: 
  • Take the day off, go somewhere and take pretty pictures–Not only relaxing, this allows you to get some creative "frustration" out, even if you're not a designer, it's good to do a few crafts and hobbies.
  • Find something cool to work on–Just because you're bored with work, doesn't necessarily mean you should stop working. Try picking up a couple of awesome projects, whether they're personal, pro-bono or just something you're interested in. Find a reason to come to work.
  • Learn how to design–Even if you're a developer or writer, learning some basics of design can improve both your writing and code structure and also the way your code is organized.
  • Learn a new programming language–I'm currently learning PHP to help with a social app I'm building and then I'll be going through Cocoa for a few iPhone apps. I have no backend programming experience, so Cocoa is definitely going to be a tough challenge–but, it's something I'm looking forward to doing because I'm excited about potential projects.
  • Find new work–Could a reason that you find your work boring be because you have boring clients with boring projects? Try to not accept any new project that doesn't make you say "Sweet!" when you hear about it. Perhaps you're bored because your work really is boring.
  • Work on your own stuff–Does your portfolio look like it was designed in the 1970s? One of the things that excites me is the thought of adding awesome pieces to my online portfolio, but if your portfolio is seriously outdated, you may be dreading it. Hire a designer, design one yourself or buy a nice template. Get it out of the 70s!
  • Participate in something big–I've been participating in a contest for entrepreneurs. Even if I don't end up winning, it was lots of fun getting the support of all my social media followers and I learned a lot from it. This really helped me get excited about the future of my business, as part of the prize was mentoring from some big name gurus! Try to find a contest you could be in, even if it has nothing to do with business.
  • Go to "Camp"–Have you been to your local BarCamp, PodCamp or WordCamp? It's a great place to meet local people, get cool swag and learn loads of new stuff. I always come away from one of those with tons of new ideas and a fresh look on what I can be doing for my code and my clients.

Just Do Something.

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© Amanda Lunday