Career enthusiasm is critical for job seekers and employees. Here is how to join the ranks of the contagiously enthusiastic.
Let’s travel back in time for just a minute. Think of when you were in college, high school or grade school. Didn’t you have teachers who made their classes exciting, even if the subject wasn’t your cup of tea? What was it about those teachers that sparked your interest — and maybe even encouraged you to make the extra effort and excel?
It was their enthusiasm, plain and simple. Likewise, career enthusiasm is crucial in both the job search and at the office. It’s a positive energy that can put you ahead of the competition. Employers appreciate job candidates and team members who bring real zeal to the table in interviews and on the job. Being able to inspire and motivate those around you is a trait found in standout employees and great leaders.
Consider these tips on how to effectively express your career enthusiasm:
1. Be passionate
The most successful instructors take a personal interest in the subjects they teach and their enthusiasm grows out of that passion. The same principle applies to your career. If you’re in the market for a job, that means finding a role or organization that you can support wholeheartedly. If you’re already a seasoned member of a team, approach your manager with ideas for special projects — like improving office efficiencies. You could also ask to join ongoing projects that connect with your interests.
2. Be positive
Effective teachers are not only fueled by a passion for their subjects, they let it show. A positive outlook makes a world of difference in a job interview. Smiling at the people you pass in the halls lets them see your enthusiasm for a prospective job. So does paying close attention when the interviewer is speaking and nodding when you agree. You can also come prepared with questions that show your interest in the products and services offered by your potential employer. (And taking a good look at their operations will help you see whether this is an organization you feel good about.)
If you’re hired, keep the momentum going on the job. Let team members know you appreciate the role they play in the organization. Your positive energy may even inspire enthusiasm in your colleagues.
3. Be genuine
Did you ever have an overly peppy professor whose enthusiasm never caught on? As with anything, too much of a good thing can be overwhelming. And career enthusiasm that’s unwarranted (“That was the best three-hour presentation ever!”) can be annoying, even if it’s well intentioned.
By being overly enthusiastic, you also run the risk of seeming insincere. You could unintentionally give colleagues the impression that you’re angling for career advancement with false enthusiasm. And in the long run, this could lead to your coworkers and employer not trusting you.
That being said, overdoing it isn't a problem for most people. So go ahead and get excited about your career. The right dose of career enthusiasm can only increase your chances of success.
Where do you find your career enthusiasm? How do you show it?