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How do I ‘appear’ enthusiastic’ yet maintain a professional demeanor?

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Question: “When I started at my company, I worked for two senior execs. Now, I also work for the president. I handle all of their office and personal work, which includes personal errands for the president. On my review, it was stated that I am not enthusiastic about everything that I am asked to do. I’ve never refused a request, but I don’t want enthusiasm to be interpreted that I need more to do. I am frequently complimented by customers and co-workers on my helpfulness. I also work overtime every day on an unpaid basis. I noted this on my last review comments. But the president keeps bringing up the ‘enthusiasm’ comment on my review. How should I respond to this comment?” — Anonymous

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I've run into this before, too. I finally figured out that if I ask what he/she means by enthusiasm, it opens the discussion. I also learned to ask what it is that he/she is looking for and to cite some instances wher...(register to read more)

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Lisa October 21, 2008 at 11:52 am

This is the sentence that jumped out at me when you were describing your situation: “I’ve never refused a request, but I don’t want enthusiasm to be interpreted that I need more to do.”

For me, in my job, attitude is everything – and it may appear that you’re trying to do the minimum to get by (even if that’s not the case) so that you don’t encourage others to give you more work. If you’re truly overloaded, talk to your boss about your workload. Your bosses are sensing something in your attitude that needs to be addressed, so talk to them about the situation.

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