How to fall back in love with your job

Remember when you first started your current job – how excited you were? How much love you felt for it.How you loved going to work. Has the novelty worn off? Is the honeymoon over? The reality of what you do everyday has kicked in. Perhaps you’re now in the twilight zone of your relationship with your job where you even feel a sense of dread on a Sunday evening.

It’s tempting to dust off your CV, give your job the old ‘heave ho’ and make a move to something new and more exciting. But before you do that it’s worth considering if you can fall back in love with your job. Just like a relationship you don’t have to go straight to divorce, with a bit of work you can salvage what’s good.

Here’s how to fall back in love with your job:

Take time to reflect

Make space to get a bit of distance from the day to day and have a good think about your job. This could be a holiday, a weekend away or even just take a day off to get some perspective. Ask yourself three questions:

 – What do you enjoy about it?

 – What are the good bits?

 – Can you do it in a different way that will reconnect you with it?

Ask for what you want

Most managers want to keep their staff, it’s expensive and time consuming to recruit new staff. Don’t sit in silence, talk to your manager about the fact that you’re not enjoying things as much and ask for some changes to make it work for you (which will ultimately help them too!). They may not be able to agree to everything but if they can allow you to implement some key things, whether that is working on some different projects, learning a new skill or working from home one day a week, it will help you feel appreciated and valued. This will contribute to how you feel about your job.

Change your view and mindset

It’s easy when you’re not enjoying what you do to get stuck in a negative frame of mind which means you tend to focus on all the things you don’t like, and can lose perspective on the reality. Make a conscious effort to focus on the areas that are good about your job. You will have to retrain your brain to a degree, and it will be tempting to fall back into your old views. Focusing on the good is a much more enjoyable way to spend your time rather than moaning about things. Try to avoid other people who enjoy saying how awful the company or your job is and seek to reinforce your positive mindset. Choose a word to focus on that can help you stay positive.

Use your strengths

Research shows that we are happier and more confident when we can use our core strengths at work on a regular basis. Do a simple audit of how you use your strengths at work and look for ways you can do that more. Want to discover or remind yourself of your core strengths, you can take the free VIA Strengths Survey.

Plan to learn and grow

Take control of your own learning and development by being proactive about what you want. Check in with yourself about skills or qualifications you’d like to acquire to either broaden your current role or to be more specialist in your role. Look at a variety of ways you can access this from either formal or informal learning, and make a plan to avoid drifting. Its your responsibility to fulfill your potential.

Fix the things that annoy you

What is getting on your nerves? And is it within your control to fix it? If it is then make some changes. It could be minor such as there is never milk in the fridge for tea/coffee – organise a rota to buy it, or more significant such as your supervision sessions with your boss are always cancelled – put it writing that you would like to have them on a  regular basis. Whatever it is, try and resolve it, and if it’s out of your control, accept that you can’t fix it and move past it.

Do your utmost to make it work, to try and fall back in love with your job. But if it’s not possible, don’t stay in a job you don’t love – make a change, and if you need help with that please get in touch.

Photo courtesy of kaboompics.com

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