What to do when job enthusiasm has waned
Also, what’s the best way to write a self-evaluation without sounding like a braggart?
Q. I know I don’t act with the same enthusiasm I did on the first day at my job, but I’m not in a position to leave my company for new adventures. How do I “re-energize?”
A. The grass may be greener someplace else, but remember, it’s still grass and the green comes and goes. There are so many possible explanations for this “lack of enthusiasm” and it may just be a simple reflection of the ups and downs all people experience, not only at work, but in relationships, new ventures and life in general. It’s possible that you would benefit from a little soul-searching to discover where this lack of enthusiasm comes from, so that a targeted strategy can be put in place.
That said, Begin with Yes recognizes that feelings come and go, just like the grass, and the simplest remedy for the down stretches is taking action at work.
I’d suggest acting more enthusiastic than you’re feeling. Often this “acting as if” can be enough to create a spark. Also, be on the lookout for new challenges to get engaged in -- shaking things up a bit may be the jump start you need. Time and time again, I’ve discovered that when I begin taking small, positive action steps, soon I actually begin to feel more positive, too. In other words, don’t wait to do something until you feel like it. Do something and expect the feeling to catch up later.
Q. My boss has asked me for a self-evaluation as part of my six-month review. It makes me very uncomfortable doing one, as I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but obviously want to put my best foot forward. Any advice?
A. My best advice is to do the self-evaluation in as honest a way as you possibly can. The truth is, no matter how great we think we are, if seen from the right vantage point, we all have a blind spot or two. If you can dig deep, you may actually discover one or two of your own.
I don’t suggest emphasizing your shortcomings, but I do know that identifying a weakness and then working to improve in that area can make a huge difference. Building on your strengths is great, correcting a weakness even better.
Finally, I’d have a true friend read the final review before giving it to your boss. You can be honest and positive about yourself without being arrogant or a jerk. Make that your goal, and good luck! You sound like a wonderful employee!
Q. Admittedly, I’ve stepped on some friends to get to my current position. How do I rebuild these friendships?
A. I’m not sure you can, and frankly not sure you deserve another chance! That said, apologize. Be honest and direct about why you are apologizing and own what you did, and hope for forgiveness. Perhaps when all is said and done, the most that you can expect is to learn an important lesson, to value people more than getting ahead.
And if you do learn and grow, you may remember this time as an important life-changer. If you don’t, you’ll be asking me this same question again in a few years, and my answer will be the same with a little less understanding in my voice!
Q. My customers always say they have a positive experience, but very few of them go on to refer us to other people. How do I get them to take this next step?
A. It’s very hard to get people to do anything, no matter how happy they are with you or your company. In my experiences, it’s more about the relationship than just the business experience. I would identify a few key customers and reach out often. Verify that the experience was as positive as you thought it was. Ask for feedback and even dare to ask how you could do better.
Engaging with people in sincere and enthusiastic ways deepens the relationship, and referrals are much more likely to follow if the customers have a relationship with you.
Paul Boynton, president and CEO of The Moore Center, Manchester, is also a personal coach, corporate consultant, motivational speaker, host of the television show and radio show, "Begin with Yes" and author of the book by the same name. His most recent book is “Beginnings – A Daily Guidebook for Adventurous Souls.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.