When it comes to your job, have you “lost that loving feeling”? Once upon a time, you were buzzing with energy and ideas. You were fully invested and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. But as it turns out, your job isn’t a one-way ticket to happily ever after. These days, you feel like your passion has dried up and you wonder how to get your enthusiasm back.
You are not alone. With the economy in low gear, many workers are stuck in less-than-desirable jobs. U.S. job satisfaction is at its lowest level in two decades, according to a report recently released by the Conference Board, a private research group. Only 45 percent of the 5,000 U.S. households surveyed say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61 percent in 1987.
If discontent is eating away at you, read on for practical tips to help you renew your enthusiasm and sense of passion at the workplace.
Re-evaluate your career
What do you need that you’re not getting at your job? Do you need more challenge? More social interaction? More variety? A better boss? Think about what needs to change in order for your job to have more appeal for you.
Create small manageable goals
Not everything you dislike about your job can be changed, but some things can. Focus on what can change and take proactive steps to improve your work experience.
Even small improvements can help you to feel more empowered and excited overall. For example, if you yearn for more social interaction, ask some co-workers out to lunch or coffee. Need more variety? Pin point specific ways you can start expanding your role. If your boss is a total jerk, try to find new strategies to deal with him or her.
Think of it all as an experiment. Play with it. See what works and what doesn’t.
Shake up your routine
Routine and boredom often go hand and hand. Adding a little variety to your day might be just what you need. Go for a quick walk in the afternoon. Eat your favorite snack. Hit the gym during lunch. Talk to someone new.
Give yourself incentives
Don’t wait for your co-workers to give you a sense of validation. Cheer yourself on. When you have a difficult project ahead of you, find a way to reward yourself after you complete that task. Think up something that would really brighten your day and give it to yourself. Celebrating all those small successes can help you recognize what’s going right.
Build new skill sets
Learning a new skill is a great way to fire up your curiosity and feel inspired again. It also makes you a more valuable employee. Whether you read a new book, browse industry blogs, take a class, or simply ask more questions on the job, find a way to keep growing and increasing your knowledge base.
Spice up life outside of work
Your job will feel like less of a burden if you have other outlets that fulfill you. Try a new exercise routine, sign up for an art class, or start a new hobby. Having something to look forward to at the end of the day will help you stay more upbeat at work.
Surround yourself with positive people
If you find that your co-workers continually drag you down with persistent negativity, it’s critical that you turn to other positive people in your life for support. Meet your funniest friend for happy hour. Plan a movie date. Volunteer with a nonprofit. Fill your life with positive influences.
Get a reality check
Talking honestly with your friends about their jobs can give you a much-needed reality check on working life. When you hear about other people’s experiences, your daily frustrations might not feel like such a big deal anymore.
So go ahead. Trade horror stories about awkward company parties, weird co-workers or angry bosses. You’ll groan, you’ll laugh, and you’ll realize that you may not have the best job in the world, but it probably isn’t the worst.
Even if you try all these strategies, you might still struggle with a nagging sense of discontent. If that is the case, your job may not be the best fit for you anymore. And that’s okay. There’s no shame in that. Although you may not be able to quit immediately, you can start looking into new opportunities. Networking is a great way to find out what else is out there.
Plus, by meeting other industry professionals, you’ll feel less alone and less helpless. Even if you don’t find a new job right away, you’ll still get a confidence boost and gain valuable connections.
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Some great points, I think the cause of this is when we get too comfortable in our jobs, and start to become lazy. If we keep working towards new goals, targets, and challenging our selves in our jobs, we will always have excitement. On the other hand our colleagues and people that we work with also plays a big big part to ensure that our day at work is enjoyable and productive.
Right on, Sarah! I remember getting really frustrated years ago that I couldn’t find a single job that met all of my needs. “Spice up life outside of work” resonates for me, since thinking that way led me to find a new job that was much more understanding and accepting that I could even HAVE interests outside the office. Fulfillment comes from multiple sources (even multiple jobs!), and it’s okay not to expect a single employer to cater to every one of your interests.
When I lost that loving feeling, I went freelance and never looked back.
Positive people around you equal positive actions…you have to surround yourself with the things that will make you more successful.
BTW..Can you can contact me on my contact page..Its very important..I need your help.
“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”
Since I am self-employed and I know how wonderful that is I would like to add:
Take your job as a learning experience then start your own business on the side and learn as you go.
When you will be in the position to quit and move on you will be ready AND grateful you did it 🙂
What a great post. I’m very lucky to enjoy my job and the career I’m in, but I know that for most that is not the case.
I especially agree with the networking aspect. It is really a great way to find others who are more likely to point you to a fulfilling job. One sour job in an industry doesn’t mean all the jobs in that industry are not going to be good for you.
These tips are so simple, but so good. Another idea: if it’s difficult or impossible to make changes at work, just make sure that your life outside of work is outta-this-world amazing. Having an active social/love life makes work very bearable.
What would you recommend to somebody else? Blogengine or am I better of using a different blogging platform?
I am kind of lost. I’ve got pregnant at the same time we moved to a new country. I was not able to find job in Graphic Design( I am from abroad). So pregnant, I worked in a museum, and after having the baby, I waited one year and a half taking care of him. Not able to find a job in my area(GD) , I found one in Sales. My last job in GD was in 2008. I kinda lost the enthusiasm for my career. I started a new course here in America in conceptual thinking and art direction. One of the assignments is to do a Logo for Justin Bieber. Really? I gave up of Graphic Design and I will do others activities.