A student wrote to me: “I graduated in Computer Science and got a job with a foreign company in my country. However, the work was routine and boring and did not use much of my technical skills. After two years working there, I was frustrated and considered quitting to find another job that I could enjoy. My friends started a small company and wanted me to join but he could not pay me for what I am making. There are risks in a startup, especially in the uncertain environment in my country. I need your advice on what would be the best solution. Thanks.”
Answer: As an active technical person, you want to enjoy your work. When you accomplish something, you are happy. As a worker, you believe that you are forced to do something that you do not like and you are frustrated. The fact is you could have more control over the situations instead of being frustrated about it. Have you ever discussed the assignment with your manager? Have you asked for another assignment in your company? The best way to stop being bored is to understand what your work has to do with the business of the company. This may require you to investigate the business of the company and how you are contributing. My advice is you should stop thinking “This is a boring job” but focus on learning more about your work from the view of the company. You may ask: “Why are they hiring me? Why do they ask me to work on this? What can I do to make this work more exciting? What can I do to improve this work? What thing can I bring to this work to make it better? By asking questions and come up with a solution, you are no longer just an ordinary worker but becoming an Intrapreneur.
By Definition, an intrapreneur is an “entrepreneur within a company,” who uses entrepreneurial skills to create innovation and improve the company’s efficiency. When an entrepreneur focuses on using innovation to start a new company, an intrapreneur is focusing on bringing innovation to solve problems within a company. In order to do that, he or she must understand the way the company operates and what problem they are having but could not solve. Many intrapreneurs become high level managers over time, as they can improve the business. Most companies recognize and promote successful intrapreneurs so the business can grow faster. Before deciding to change job, which may be risky, why don’t you focus on bringing more value to the company using your technical talent?
- Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University