If you want to succeed and enjoy your work, you’ll need to take chances, step out and be a little different.

You can get by by just doing your work. You’ll get your annual 3% raises if you do your work efficiently enough not to draw attention. And that’s exactly where most employees want to be: under the radar.

But if you’re not ‘most employees’ and want to enjoy your work as well as do your work, you’ll need to do satisfying work. Just getting things done is a relief but not very fun.

Innovate, improve, improvise or instigate and you’ll attract attention. You might get shot down in front of everybody. You might even fail. Your ‘idea’ could be a huge flop. Worse yet, people might laugh at you and your ‘thoughts’.

Can you take it? Can you handle the risk? Will you survive if those things happen?

And what if something positive comes from your effort at improvement? Can you handle the accolades? Sounds silly but some people can’t. If you get positive attention, that might really bring out nastiness in others! You co-workers might resent your little improvement. Can you handle that?

Most can’t. That’s a big part of why so few people try any form of innovation at work. It’s safer to play to the boss. Parrot the boss. Never, ever suggest an improvement because by implication, an improvement means something is wrong. Wrong means fault. Don’t want that!

But let’s say you’re part of the 5% who can handle the pressure. Those people don’t crumble over what other people think. In fact, they see the humor in the immaturity of others. You have to with idiots, that’s reality. Doesn’t mean you have to be one too unless you have a need to fit in.

When you try something new and innovative you run the risk of changing things for the better. There is great intrinsic satisfaction in that.

That’s probably what you’re missing in your work. Satisfaction.

But that’s your fault. If your not getting satisfaction from your work, don’t blame the boss for lack of recognition. Blame yourself for not doing anything remarkable.

Chris Reich