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? Has the reality of what you do every day kicked in? If you’re now in the twilight zone of your job relationship and feel a sense of dread on Sunday evening then something’s got to change.
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, consider 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. You need 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 as it’s expensive and time consuming to recruit. Don’t sit in silence. Talk to your manager about the fact that you’re not enjoying things as much. 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 it will help you feel appreciated and valued. Work out what would help – is it working on some different projects, learning a new skill or working from home one day a week? Getting what you want 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. This means you tend to focus on all the things you don’t like, and 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, 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 that could either broaden your current role or help you become 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. It’s your responsibility to fulfill your potential.
Fix the things that annoy you
What is getting on your nerves? 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 or coffee. Organise a rota to buy it. It could be more significant such as your supervision sessions with your boss are always cancelled. Put it in 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.
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