When done strategically and executed effectively, you will surprise yourself at how much you can really do. We only get a high when we are totally engaged and performing at the edge of our personal envelope. Fluffing around and shuffling papers or waiting for the boss' orders do not make for a happy you. You can almost hear the self respect going down the gurgler. Talk about a lose-lose situation. And it does NOT have to be this way. Sometimes, it's just that you feel like an outsider, sitting in the grandstand seats watching others dig in to the fun of effectiveness. Don't wait for someone to show you how you fit in. As the rugger coach says....GET STUCK IN!
Identify key tasks in your job. Find out the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in each task. Match these with your own capabilities and talents. If you don't really like your job, a great way out is to perform your way into a promotion.
Measure your talents and strengths. Make a list and check the items that directly match these key job tasks. Identify areas where you need to intervene so you can perform in these tasks more effectively.
Develop a personal development plan. Write this down so it gets clearer to you and it does not become a random activity that you do when you have the time or you remember to do it. It is not an insert into your day. You need to put a schedule and monitor yourself at some strategic points which you mark in your plan. Identify the resources you need and put these in place. Look into what your local learning institutions offer. Find out if someone within your circle can be a mentor to you. You will be surprised at how many resources are available when you truly hunt them down. Don't forget to include incentives and rewards for hitting your target. You owe it to yourself.
Act on your plan. You don't leave this plan lying around until the next evaluation schedule. Spend time each day learning and improving your knowledge and skills. Schedule this in. The more skills you have, the more you can contribute. Determine the skills that are often called for in your area of interest beyond your job. Work hard at these. Take courses if you have to. Apprentice with someone who is very good at your listed items. Develop one or two skills that you truly enjoy and be the best around in those and folks will call on you when they need that talent. The more people respect your expertise, the more confident you become. As you get confident in one skill, move to one closest to this so you won't have a steep learning curve. Work at this, too. Remember, choose the ones you enjoy and you'll be whistling, too.
Monitor your progress. Do this with a mentor or coach who will be hard on you. If your plan includes clear deliverables at strategic points, you will see the successes you have made.
Reward yourself. Identify rewards you give to yourself when you have accomplished a mega goal in your personal development plan. This also strengthens your respect for yourself: that you are able to accomplish what you have set out to do.
As you trudge ahead in your plan, you will be surprised at how effective you will become in the day-to-day tasks. You will like yourself more. Others will see the change and feel good being near you. Soon you'll be the coach!