Interesting work or make work interesting – what works better?

Having spent the last 3 years working with startups either contributing as a part of a team or  founding one, I can categorically state that there are many dull and not so interesting tasks that need to get done. This is against the accepted notion that working with startups is all about doing interesting kick-ass work.

Fish! A remarkable way to boost morale and Improve ResultsOver the last two years I have grown from thinking of doing only interesting work to making work more interesting. Although, there is a subtle difference in the wording the latter is more powerful and puts you in control. You reserve the opportunity to choose your own attitude towards your work and thats what works the best.

Recently, reading “Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results” reinforced this thought process for me. The book is a parable which draws from the success story of the Pike Place Fish Market in making their work more interesting.

Take a look at how the workers have fun at the fish market throwing fish around and bystanders cheering them all the way:

What makes me write this?

One reason was I just finished reading the book a couple of weeks back but its not the only reason. Three days back I was discussing about work with a friend of mine, lets call him PS. PS has completed his MS this summer and now has joined the technology wing of an investment company. With an year of prior experience in a IT company and completion of his MS I thought the company that recruits him would have a specific role for him and he could start contributing directly. This wasn’t to be true and took me by surprise. He would be undergoing a 3 month training program on C, Unix, Java and other technologies and would be inducted by one of the projects in the company. I was stupid enough to ask him, “You still don’t know the work or project that you will be assigned to, how do you feel about it?” He said, “I am sure I would love the work that I will be assigned to!

2 Replies to “Interesting work or make work interesting – what works better?”

    1. Manish, choosing your own attitude puts you in control because each day you choose how you are going to act or which “side of the bed” you wake up on. The choice remains yours. If you agree of having a positive outlook towards work everyday you are already in the driver’s seat and in control.

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