Finding Value

By: Alli Kelly

Some tasks simply feel like a waste of our precious time, don’t they? If there is no obvious benefit, completing a project for your boss can feel pointless. There have been plenty of times at work or with internships that I have completed an assigned task and wondered what the importance was. Not everything we do professionally will be exciting or look amazing on our resumes and in our portfolios. But there is value, even in those tiny tasks that take us only a couple of minutes to complete.

There is one task in particular that I think of when discussing this concept. At one of my internships, it was my responsibility to take the first five minutes of my day to condense a bunch of small headings into one large heading that encompassed all of them. Despite its simplicity, it was one of the most tedious, time-consuming processes and I always detested it.

I mostly hated it because it was something that, in my mind, someone else should have been doing. It was a task handed to my department by another department, specifically given because they didn’t want to take the time to do it. And because everyone in my department was “too busy,” I got stuck with it. This made for one very unhappy intern who saw no value in what they were doing.

Small Man

By doing simple tasks like the one I’ve described, I’ve come to learn a few things about myself. One, I am not entitled to do big projects often acquiring tons of praise and attention. Two, I am reliable and can be trusted with the most tedious of tasks. Lastly, I listen to my supervisors and don’t question anything that I may internally feel is insignificant. Those are qualities that employers look for in prospective employees.

When I look back at all of the tasks I’ve completed that seemed silly, I see the value in them. They brought me small skills that will help me out down the road. It has taught me to prove my worth to those who oversee my work; that I am willing to do whatever it takes to show my commitment to the company. Finding the value of a task in the moment can be hard, but when you look back, you’ll see that everything you do in life will help you at one point or another.

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