Updated: May 28, 2020
Author: Michael Scaletti
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and in honor of it I thought I’d talk to you about love. No, not romantic love. Not platonic or familial love. Not even the overwhelming love a person might have for his two wonderful cats. No, I’m talking about the love shared between a person and their job.
Look, I get it. It’s easy to be in love with your job when it’s new and exciting and fresh, but as time goes on those feelings begin to fade. You lose inspiration. You fall into a rut. Well I’ve got a few tips that’ll help you shake things up in the workplace, and hopefully get you to fall in love with your job all over again.
Address the Burnout
Job Burnout is a special type of work related exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As these feelings build you’ll end up finding your motivation drain away, losing inspiration, and feeling a general sense of malaise. It can spill over into your regular life, affecting your relationships, your home life, and even your physical health!
Now obviously this is going to make it hard to love your job, so if you are burned out or are on the road to burnout this is the first thing that needs to be addressed. There are several things you can do to help deal with burnout. First, turn to other people. Reach out to your close friends and family, be more social with your coworkers, and, importantly, limit your contact with negative people. Second, reframe your outlook on work by trying to find something positive to focus on, something that brings value or joy to you. Finally, be sure to disconnect every once and awhile. Set boundaries and learn to say “no” to requests on your time that would over extend you. Take a break from technology. Go for a walk. Disconnecting, even if just for a moment, will help you return to work refreshed and renewed.
Find Purpose in Your Work
When I say “purpose” I don’t mean that you need to be looking for ways in which your job is going to change the world. Someone has to fix the copiers too. What I mean is figuring out WHY you roll out of bed each morning and stumble into work. What gets you going? Hopefully it’s more than just a paycheck, but if it isn’t you can help yourself by finding new purpose.
Purpose can be many things. Ask yourself what you value most in your life and apply that to your workplace. Do you value collaboration? Look for ways to contribute to your group or give back to your local community. Is personal connection important to you? Invite you coworkers out to a social event, make a point to eat lunch with them, or just genuinely ask them how their day is going.
Purpose doesn’t have to be a big thing. It boils down to finding what motivates you and tailoring your work to feature that thing. Once you’ve done that, the love will start to fall into place.
Grow and Learn
It’s well known that people are happier at work when they’re learning new things. So make sure your doing so! Take a class or go to a workshop. Many employers will happily even pay for these things, as it will make you a more valuable employee. The things you’re best at are probably the things you enjoy most. Identify your top skills and analyze your current position. Are there ways in which you could shift your position to make these skills more central? Do so! And then work to improve these skills even further.
Have a Set Goal
Having set goals provides a roadmap for your career and ties in to all the other tips on this list. It allows you to tailor your skills and abilities to the purpose you have set for yourself, and when accomplishing them it will provide a deeper sense of accomplishment in your profession.
Decide on one to three distinct and specific goals for your career. Make sure they are realistic, and give them a reasonable timeline. Once you have decided on these, schedule a meeting with your boss, sit down with them, and discuss how these goals can help shape your five year plan and your place within the company.