By Sunny Simon

From the comfort of my living room, I watched the LA Angels play the Minnesota Twins. To say it was wicked hot in Target Field that day was no exaggeration. Spectators fanned themselves, sucked on snow cones and downed ice cold beer and lemonade to ward off the oppressive heat.

During the game the camera zoomed in on a hot dog vendor. I watched in amazement as he patiently created curly mustard art over the tubed meat. Okay, sounds like a small thing, I know, but if I were standing in the blazing sun while schlepping around a heavy metal case loaded with hot dogs, buns, mustard and relish, I’m pretty sure I would have quickly smeared the yellow condiment and moved on to my next customer. Not this guy. He presented the fan with the perfect hot dog and a great customer experience.

Thinking about the hot dog guy reminded me of my first job in human resources. It was beyond boring. I knew I was destined for a career in HR but the starting point offered no challenge. I dreaded going to work each day until I stumbled across these two sentences, “The way you do one thing, is how you do everything. Be aware.” Reading those lines rocked my small corporate world. You see, if the job was mind-numbing it was my own doing.

The work was easy, and I needed to create a challenge. Conducting a serious meeting with myself in the drab cubicle where I spent most of the working day, I decided to make some changes. I began by hanging motivational posters to keep me inspired. Then I set a schedule to complete my workload in five hours and spend the remainder of my day assisting others, creating projects that added value to the department and if time remained working on my own personal development. By the end of the week the tide had turned. Now I was the first person in the office and often the last one out the door at night. Turning an entry level job into a position with substance and challenge launched my career.

Bottom line, when you are given something to do, embrace it! Whether it’s using mustard as a creative art form to delight the customer or entering employee information into a database, give it your all, put your unique spin on it. Being aware of” how you do one thing,” will help you make a difference. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog www.lifeonthesunnyside.net

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