By Ben Kaplan

Founder + CEO, PR Hacker

On his cult-hit show "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry David goes about life with a cynic's point of view, always looking at the glass half full. That might be the worst careeadvice I've ever heard. 
Consider this: According to a survey by CareerBuilder.com, more than one-third of employers say the biggest reason they wouldn’t hire someone is if they did not show enough enthusiasm for the job.
Quite simply, learning to demonstrate enthusiasm is one skill that really pays.
But what if you’re stuck with a certain assignment, project, or task, that you are less than enthusiastic about?  You can try to discover your “hidden” reservoirs of enthusiasm by implementing three strategies that made a difference during my own  professional career.

1.  Surround yourself with enthusiastic people

Enthusiasm is contagious.  Even when I’ve had to do tasks that seemed less than desirable, if I had the opportunity to perform them with great people around, the shared experiences always proved rewarding.
So stay close to mentors, colleagues, and friends who help bring energy and passion to the challenges you face.
And what if it’s a task you really don’t like doing — hiring, for instance. Seek out a colleague who is really enthusiastic about it. That energy is contagious.  

2.  Find something specific to get you excited

Even when you’re forced to confront work that isn’t always enjoyable, you can still revel in certain aspects of the task you do find rewarding.  
If you’re working on a project that you’re not feeling great about, find the part that you do like! Maybe the challenge of spreading the message, or the joy of doing a hard job, well. 

3.  Focus on the bigger picture

Even if the first two strategies fail, you can always be enthusiastic about the progress you are making toward your larger goals.
If your entry-level job is seeming repetitive and mindless, rather than feel sorry for yourself or quit, try to perform the work to the absolute best of your ability—thus demonstrating to your supervisor that you’re ready to take on more interesting responsibilities.  By enthusiastically paying your dues now, you position yourself to later reap more exciting rewards.
Of course, this is easier said than done.  Like anyone else, I’ve had plenty of days when I felt less than chipper.  But by working through those tough days and reclaiming my enthusiasm along the way, I learned how to summon my energy and passion when I need it.  
This singular ability has proven to be incredibly useful in my professional and personal life.  So I’m quite confident—you might even say enthusiastically confident—that cultivating these skills can help you, too.
So at work, it's great if you can be the smartest person in the room, but if not, be the most enthusiastic.  

About Ben Kaplan

Ben Kaplan is a best-selling author, popular speaker, and CEO of PR Hacker — the world's fastest growing viral marketing firm. He has been featured on more than 5,000 TV and radio shows including appearances on Oprah, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, NPR, and the BBC.