6 Ways to Unlock Your True Talents at Work

Posted in: Business

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” … We’ve all heard the question time and time again.

And quite frankly, many successful people are continuously trying to figure that out. At the end of the day, it comes down to following your passions and doing whatever it takes to achieve your dreams.

And the steps to get there aren’t always the most glamorous. It might mean working for free as an intern, or putting in your dues at a boring entry-level position because it may be a great stepping-stone to your future dream job.

While this is all great advice, it can sometimes be difficult to find passion and talent for those stepping-stone jobs that don’t challenge you or inspire you, which results in you not putting a lot of effort into the tasks that you’re doing. For instance, maybe you’ve developed a script for sales calls that allows you to tune-out, or you’ve created an assembly-line process for getting your tasks done. And while having your work come easy to you is not necessarily a bad thing — it requires minimal thinking and results in few mistakes and challenges — you will never get to show off your true talents if you simply fall into the robotic 9-5 work routine (and you will suffer from burn out in no time).

Just because you may not yet work in a creative profession full of quirky co-workers that provide constant inspiration, or an out-of-the-box office space that just screams creativity, that doesn't mean that you cannot unlock your creative talents in the workplace. There are a number of things that you can do to bring creativity and innovation to even the most mundane tasks, it just takes a little out-of-the-box thinking and a closer look at your skills and expertise.

Here are 6 tips that will help you shine bright like a diamond, rather than becoming a diamond in the rough that wastes away behind the fake walls of a cubicle.

1. Be yourself

Just because you work in a corporate office with a stuffy dress code doesn’t mean you have to put on a corporate act and conform to the status quo. In fact, the best ideas often come together when different viewpoints collide, so don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and stand up for what you believe in. Who knows, you may have the fresh perspective that your company needs and it could lead to a groundbreaking solution!

2. Work in creative spaces

It’s important that you feel comfortable and “in the zone” when you are putting your talents to work—you’ll get the best results that way. Often times this starts with being open-minded about your work space design, so try working on a couch instead of a desk, or on a bean bag instead of a conference table. You also will find that your creativity can shine when your personality is all around you, inspiring you, so don’t be afraid to decorate your work area as well.

3. Take brainstorm buddy walks

It’s hard to be inspired when you are confined to a grey speckled cubicle. Instead, take your ideas on the go and team up with a buddy for a brainstorming session. During these “buddy walks,” you can walk and talk, tossing out new ideas with your co-workers, or simply getting a new vantage point for upcoming ideas. You can even switch out buddies weekly for a constantly fresh perspective.

4. Share inspiring messages

Find quotes that inspire you, then print and post them around your desk as a little pick-me-up. But don’t be selfish in your inspiration—also consider posting different inspirational messages around the office or sending them to co-workers to get your entire team in the motivated mindset.

5. Play ‘bored’ games

When you’re too deep in the weeds and can’t think clearly, try some fun idea primers. A few of my favorites are IDEO’s Method Cards or the Thinkpak Brainstorming Card Deck. If that doesn’t help, take your mind off of your current project and have some fun!  At Hello Innovation, we’re especially drawn to ping-pong as a way to give our brain a break and refresh our mind throughout the work day.

6. Expand your skillset

While you might be “good” at your job, you need to continually learn and grow in order to reach your full potential. If you’re not actively educating yourself and improving your skillset, you will get left behind. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Keep up with the latest and greatest techniques and tools used in your field, and apply them to your work. Some may stick and others may not, but you’ll be learning a heck of a lot along the way.

But, improving your work-related skills isn’t the only thing that will help your on-the-job  performance. Classes that expand your personal growth, such as line dancing classes, cooking classes, or painting classes can actually open up your mind to creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, which will also trickle into the way that you think about difficult tasks in the work place.

Once you unlock your true creativity and talent in the workplace, you will be amazed at the difference it makes in your passion, your enthusiasm and your overall attitude at work. An employee that puts their talents into every single aspect of their job, from the small errands to the large assignments, will be noticed and rewarded. Don’t sell yourself short on success… Let your true talents run wild!

If you are looking to work for a company that truly values its employee’s unique talents and encourages passion in the workplace, check out the 30+ job openings at Hello Innovation today! We are constantly looking for the best and the brightest to come join our team of innovators.

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