Updated: May 19
It’s safe to say that most people are not happy about doing grunt work. These tasks are the ones generally passed off to entry-level employees in a company. If you’re just starting out in your first professional job, you may want to skip doing grunt work and jump right to what you studied to do. However, like most employees, you’re probably going to have to deal with performing these tasks, so here are a few new ways to think about grunt work.
It’s what keeps your business running.
If you think about it, tasks like making copies of reports for meetings or scheduling a time when everybody is available for a conference are necessary to run a good business. And because it’s usually not in the budget to hire someone with the title, “Grunt Worker,” everyone gets tasked with these kinds of duties along the way. If you’re new to the company or low on the totem pole, you may be more likely to end up with these responsibilities. Reframe your mind that these are not just menial tasks but important ones that make the larger and critical accomplishments possible. Think of an entrepreneur who has to do all of these tasks until they are big enough to hire someone to do them.
Employers are learning about you.
Never forget how closely you may be watched at work. A lot of times, you can use their request to do things you don’t want to do to your advantage. How? Do them with a great attitude. When you’re finished with a menial task, ask if there’s anything else you can do. Come up with a better and faster way of doing these mundane chores. Make your boss’s life easier and show that you’re valuable. Before long, you’ll be asked to do more important things, but for now, use this time to your favor.
Consider you may be overstimulated.
Face it, we’re all used to doing too much. We wake up with a phone in our face scrolling all day long, or on a computer screen for hours at work, and we never get a break. You may be struggling to do grunt work because you can’t simply focus on a single task at hand. Challenge yourself to work in the simplicity. It’ll improve your focus in the long run.
Like with anything, you have to ask yourself when enough is enough. If you feel like you’re being underutilized in your entry-level position, then it’s okay to carefully and thoughtfully bring this up with your manager.
But, you have to deliver it in a way that keeps your job safe. It all comes back to attitude and gratitude, so keep this in mind when you’re doing grunt work and when you ask for these tasks to be taken off your plate.