Dear Sam: I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut. I do the same thing day in day out, but with little satisfaction. I used to love my job! What do I do? How can I motivate myself? – Michael
Dear Michael: Your feelings are shared by so many and sometimes we may not even know why we start feeling this way versus before when we may have felt really connected to our work. Let’s go over some ways you can help to reignite your passion at work!
It’s easy to feel stagnant if there is no apparent growth occurring in your work life. I would recommend seeing if there’s a new project you could work on. Set yourself an achievable goal and make sure you celebrate the small victories to keep yourself motivated about your achievements. In addition, see if your company has a professional development program you can participate in, or if there are any conferences related to your industry you can attend. This can help push you to continue growing and learning which can be rejuvenating.
Try something new
A change of scenery is always good! If you can take your work remote perhaps changing your location could provide you with a breath of fresh air – literally! Try restructuring the way you approach your projects, introducing a new approach, or bringing in an outside opinion. By doing something new you will be able to keep the day to day interesting. Try grabbing a coffee and working at the new place you’ve been wanting to check out to change up your routine.
Take a break
Another reason you could be experiencing your feelings is that maybe you just need to take some time away to recharge. According to the US Travel Association, “more than half Americans leave vacation time on the table, accumulating to 768 million days in 2018.” Time away allows us to recharge and get a fresh perspective. A vacation can bring new ideas and approaches to the work you do.
Invest in your relationships with your coworkers
Sometimes it can be difficult to find purpose in the workplace, and that causes us to disconnect ourselves even further. It would be a great idea to get to know your coworkers. Go grab lunch with some coworkers you haven’t socialized with. Understanding more about the team you work with can help you to understand their role and even potential collaboration for future projects. Further, it can strengthen your motivation to understand how your coworkers find meaning in their work.
Reevaluate your Values.
You mentioned you once loved your job. Think about what brought you there and the things you love(d). It can be all too easy to get stuck in the short-term day-to-day work. Think about the things you care about, and the values that brought you to where you are today. After a time, we often lose sight of the reasons we got involved in the work, as well as the importance of the work we do. It is easy to lose sight of this, but it is important to just get back in touch with your values, and what makes you, well, YOU! The smaller tasks at the jobs we do can feel menial, but remembering the larger picture at work can help us to refocus and recalibrate.
Hope this can helps!