It’s not unusual for employees – in any job and at any level – to fall out of love with work. Even in the most exciting positions, we can suffer anxiety. You might be stuck with a project you’re not excited about, for example. Perhaps you’ve got a new manager you don’t click with. Maybe you’re simply bored with the same routine.
Whatever the reason, you are in control. You can take steps to recharge and rejuvenate your passion. The tips in this expert article are worth thinking about before making the drastic decision to hastily jump ship. Even small actions can get you out of your slump and help you rebuild your love of your work.
Identify the problem
Start by identifying the problem. Is it temporary – as in a project you don’t like but that has a defined end – or is it deeper, systemic and long term? If it’s temporary, it might be worth hanging in there knowing a new chapter will begin. If it’s more systemic, talk to your manager or human resources department to suss out options and opportunities, such as a special project or transfer to a new department.
Find a boredom fix
If you’ve been doing the same thing for a loooong time and yawn your way to work, challenge yourself to learn something new or volunteer to take on responsibilities that will recharge your batteries. This can motivate you to look at your work with fresh eyes. It might also be worth chatting to your manager about possibilities.
Develop new goals and a plan
Even if you have a professional development plan, take time to re-examine it. Perhaps it’s time to reshape or refine it. Are there items in the plan you haven’t yet actioned? If so, push them forward to relieve your boredom. Focusing on goals is a great way to get direction and feel motivated. It’s also a fantastic way to take the next step in your career.
Beware of the ripple effect
You might not love your job but is your unhappiness affecting those around you? If so, is that fair? Remember that your attitude and approach to work has a direct impact on your team and even your clients. It can affect your reputation.
Take control. Be as positive as possible. This doesn’t mean grinning from ear-to-ear all day, every day, but a bit of effort can go a long way. Thank people for helping. Recognise a team member’s efforts. Ask colleagues if they had a good weekend. It’s amazing how powerful simple gestures can be.
Book a time to discuss how you’re feeling with your manager and explore options. There might be a new assignment around the corner or other tasks you can take on to rejuvenate.
Ask for feedback
If you haven’t had feedback on your performance for a while, now might be the time. Positive feedback is an adrenaline rush. It can also help you identify what to do to stay in love with your job.
Seize the benefits
Many organisations offer employees health and other benefits. An employee assistance program might be one. Support to pursue studies might be another. Maybe you can be paid by your employer to volunteer with an organisation your workplace supports.
List the health benefits your company offers to see if you’re taking advantage of them. This can help you love your work again. Take volunteering, for example. This unselfish act positions you to contribute positively. This, in turn, can shift your attitude upwards a notch or 2.
Take a break
It could be that your ‘lack of love’ is directly related to fatigue, especially if you’ve not taken a vacation in a while. Being tired affects your mood. Being burnt out is a surefire way to fall out of love with your job. So, no excuses – schedule time off. Get out there and enjoy. Get energised so you’re happy on your return to work.
Meet new people
Sometimes we get into a rut. We forget that workplaces are great places to meet people. Introduce yourself to new colleagues. Have a cuppa with a positive, inspiring team member. Join a work committee, like a social committee. These are easy ways to build rewarding, nurturing relationships that can bring you joy.
Celebrate your accomplishments
Create an ‘I did today’ list and write down your accomplishments before you leave the office. This will give you an energy (and emotional) boost. Record small items, like ‘caught up on filing’. Record medium-sized items like ‘cleared this week’s inbox.’ Record larger items, like ‘completed Phase 1 of this week’s project.’
Take healthy steps
Sometimes boredom relates to overall melancholy. Take breaks. Step outside for fresh air and exercise, which releases endorphins to make you feel better. Avoid junk food. Eat fruit. Stay hydrated. Stand up and stretch. These healthy steps contribute to better wellbeing and happiness.
Refresh your work area
Sometimes a ‘spring clean’ of your work area can perk matters up. A good tidy can make you feel happy. Perhaps bring in photos or decorative items to make you feel ‘at home’. This is worth the effort given the number of hours you spend at work (it’s a lot).
Fall in love again
Although it might be challenging and may seem impossible, conduct a self-audit of tasks and responsibilities you enjoy about your job. Write down what you loved about your job when you first began and what you still love, no matter how small. You may find that life isn’t that bad. Also remember that your job does have meaning (all jobs do, or they wouldn’t exist).
If you’ve tried everything with gusto and still don’t love your work, it might be time to move on. It’s normal in any job to have a bad day or a bad week. But if your bad weeks turn into bad months – and if there’s never a bright, rewarding day – it’s likely time to act.
When doing so, however, avoid knee-jerk reactions. Plan and be systematic with change so you’re not left out in the cold with no job.
Talk to a recruiter at face2face before making drastic decisions. Our expert recruiters have what it takes to:
- help you think laterally about possibilities (including a complete career change)
- guide you on processes and timeframes and help you avoid pitfalls
- identify both the hard and soft skills you should highlight in your resume
- share how to write an amazing resume and cover letter
- support you with great interview tips, including the STARR technique and how to stay calm.
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