10 Reasons To Do Grunt Work With a Smile

“Grunt work” is a term often used to describe the boring, meaningless tasks assigned to interns or entry-level employees. These tasks usually have nothing to do with the projects you were hired for, and can seem like they are a waste of your time and talents.

Common examples of office grunt work include alphabetizing and filing documents, unpacking or sorting supplies, getting coffee, data entry, and answering phones or covering the front desk while someone is on a break.

These tasks aren’t exciting, but they are not meaningless.

The next time a supervisor give you grunt work, say a silent “thank you.” You were just handed the opportunity to boost your career.

Here are 10 reasons to be happy about grunt work.

  • You said you are a team player. This is your chance to prove it.
  • Doing a menial task without complaining or procrastinating shows maturity and responsibility.
  • If you are doing an unpleasant task with another person, it’s a good chance to get to know each other better.

  • Just because a task isn’t challenging doesn’t mean that it’s not important to the company’s operations.
  • Many grunt jobs are highly visible. The boss will notice when it’s done — and you will get the credit.
  • Some tasks allow you the chance to learn more about the company’s history, operations or main clients.
  • Completing the task on time shows that you are able to manage your time.
  • You’ve proven that you are a “go-to” person, and are more likely to be trusted with more responsibility or “better” projects.
  • If you don’t do the grunt job, your boss or someone else will have to. By doing it, however, you are solving a problem for him or her, and that’s a good thing.
  • Some tasks are a nice break from your routine. You get to walk around, go outside, visit another office, or just get away from the computer screen for a while.

Grunt work is not just for entry-level employees. Most people have some tasks that they’d rather not do. As editor of a publication, I’m responsible for all aspects of its production and distribution — including occasionally printing up labels and mailing copies to customers. It’s not pretty, but it is necessary.

If you feel like your supervisor is asking you to do more menial tasks than other coworkers at your level, or you are spending more time doing grunt work than the projects you were hired to do, then talk with your supervisor. Let him or her know that you will do your fair share of the “boring stuff,” but you’d like the opportunity to use the skills you were hired to use.

Bottom line: When you do a good job, no matter how small the task is, your supervisors and coworkers will think positively about you. The same is true when you don’t do a good job, or fail to complete something.

Even if you think the grunt work is no big deal, it could make a dent — or boost — in your career.

Get Your GED For Free in Minnesota

Graduation cap and diplomaThe General Educational Development (GED) is a high school diploma equivalent that has lifelong benefits that include helping Minnesota WorkForce Center customers and other job seekers to be eligible for better, higher-paying jobs or start a pathway to a new career.

The GED tests usually cost $120. Now through the end of June 2016, GED testing is available at no cost to eligible Minnesotans. Check out the links below for more information:

MN Department of Education link with information about the free GED

Minnesota Public Radio news blog

Job Seekers: You’re Not The Only One To Face Rejection

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston Churchill

success-fail-signLooking for work often seems like a (long) series of rejections.

Every time you send a resume and don’t get called for an interview it can feel like a personal attack.

The truth is, job searching and hiring is a process. And getting critiqued, ignored and rejected are (unfortunately) part of that process. Continue reading

What Song Describes Your 2013?

2013 clockThink about the past 12 months. Which song title best describes how you feel about this past year?

Why? Write the title in the comments below.

If you could choose a theme song for 2014, what would it be?

33+ Suggestions for Action After Zimmerman Verdict

FROM DENISEMPLS: I’ve been angry, heart-broken, and silent since the not guilty verdict was announced July 13. Frustration without action is dangerous. Finally, this Jamie Utt’s Change from Within blog offers actions all of us can take to move past our grief, and to do our part to create a society that values people of all colors.

Change From Within

In the days since George Zimmerman’s acquittal was announced, I have been at a loss for words.  And perhaps that’s good.  I have shared a lot of other people’s words, most of them feminist activists of Color, and in this time, perhaps those are the voices that most need to be heard.  There is not much I can say right now, nor is there much I should say.  Now is the time for people like me – people of race, class, and gender privilege – to listen.

As we listen and reflect, though, it is important that we are not simply get stuck in despair and inaction.  Collection action toward justice is truly the only thing that will ensure the travesty of the death of Travon Martin (and the injustice in our “justice” system that it represents) is not lost or forgotten.

And so, in the midst of my…

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