Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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DR.JOB Q & A: Forget 'Scintillating'--Do Good Work

(Q.1) I recently started my summer college internship and although it is prestigious, and will look good on my resume later-it sure is boring. I think I'll get to do cooler stuff later, but now I'd like to feel more stimulated.

(ANS.) FEW JOBS ARE SCINTILLATING the first few weeks, but if you do them well, with imagination and skill that sets you apart from all the rest, they can lead to the next step, and the next, and eventually to the one that gets you in some Hall of Fame. Most importantly, remember the daily, routine assignments are just a step. The good stuff won't come from bosses. It will come from YOUR enterprising ideas, concepts, and ways of doing things that will be fascinating to others, and will bring in more money and improve service. (Then suggest those ideas in memos or privately to the boss, and to his or her boss, and keep a written copy for your own files.)

(Q.2) LAST YEAR I CLOSED my dental office and retired. I own the small strip mall in which the office was located and assumed I could rent it easily. Unfortunately the whole mall seems to have emptied as leases ended and the stores moved elsewhere. I tried putting classified ads in the local newspapers and not one person replied. Do you have other ideas?

(ANS.) YOU MUST TARGET your marketing directly to those you hope to attract. Begin with specific ads in the special real estate sections of your newspapers, instead of general classified sections. Also contact Chambers of Commerce in all surrounding villages, towns and cities, and try to buy ads in their newsletters and newsletters too. Most importantly, learn to put the ads on all those same media Web sites, because that's where many of your potential renters also are looking.

(Q.3) I HAVE TO COVER my organization's board meeting each month and write a report for all members and give a copy to my immediate boss. Unfortunately we don't have a great relationship and she doesn't seem to want a personal relationship, although she values most of the work I do. So do I have to go into her office and spend an uncomfortable ten minutes each month going over this report with her? Ugh!

(ANS) WHY DO YOU PUT YOURSELF THROUGH that torture? Since no one has required you to personally hand it to her, make a copy of that report, email it to her (even if she's in the next room) and say that if she has any questions, you'll be glad to get that information for her. But keep smiling as if she's your best friend. Remember you always catch more bees with honey.

(Q.4) HOW DO I FIND THE JOB THAT will make me happy? I've been working five years, and feel lucky I have any job. It's in my professional field, but I no longer believe this is want I want to do all my life.
ANS) YOU'RE NOT ALONE. J.P. Hansen, author of The Bliss List says four out of five people are "unhappy" in their jobs. Yet, five out of five people have enormous unrealized talent and unlimited potential. So, how can you find happiness at work? First spend time determining what makes time stand still for you-and it doesn't have to be about money, just what makes you happy. Next, write that down (don't limit it to one item). Then, develop your own ideal job description and post it on your wall and keep it in your purse/wallet. Lastly, visualize yourself in that ideal job(s) each morning before you start your day-with enthusiastic confidence. If you can keep a positive attitude toward your ideal job(s), it is only a matter of time until those doors open for you.


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