Remember the feeling you had when you first started working at your new job? The rush, the excitement, the ever so often sharply-dressed days, the lunch breaks with your co-workers and the feeling of pride you had when you told someone that you now work for a certain company or institution? You honestly loved your job and as much as Mondays were not your favourite days, you actually loved them, because the thought of going to the office didn’t annoy you.
Fast forward after a few years and everything goes south. You wake up every morning and you immediately regret that decision. As you prepare to go to work, you keep asking yourself, “Is this really what I’m going to be doing the rest of my life?”
The good news is you don’t have to quit or keep stressing yourself with thoughts of anguish and the decision to leave. You can re-ignite the old spark of your job. How?
- Embrace the concept of Shoshin.
When you start working at a new job or company, your mind is usually always alert. You want to tap into all the resources you have to get acquainted with your new job and what it entails – and this involves understanding the culture of your new workplace, how to relate with others and even where to put your lunch in the fridge. This is known as Beginner’s Mind or Shoshin. Over time, we get comfortable with where we’ve gotten and instead of wanting to know more, we become content with the state we are in.
Embrace the concept of always having an attitude of openness and wanting to learn more every day. There’s always something to learn so go back to the drawing board and begin again.
- Share your wisdom
Be a mentor to someone and offer to teach them some of the things you learnt. This is not only helpful as you’re passing down your wisdom, but it also allows you to get a more positive reception to your work. It also helps you learn something different and your brain will thank you for it as well. Giver’s glow is a neurological response that occurs when you perform altruistic actions like helping people in need.
- Reach for your strengths
You remember the question that’s usually asked in interviews ‘What are your strengths?’, it is employed to know what your natural talents are since the more you are good at something, the more likely you are to work better as you utilize those skills. If you are not sure about your strengths, you can take a Myers-Briggs personality test or better yet, ask your workmates, friends or family if there is a particular skill set or strength that you should be utilizing more.
At some point, our work might drive us to the point of not just physical but also mental breakdown. I have heard of stories where people work so hard, it drives them farther away from their families, friends and even affects their health, usually resulting in total body and mind breakdown. Take some time off and reconnect with yourself. Take a vacation or just opt to stay at home and rest. A little time-off can go a long way into rejuvenating both your mind and body to get back on track with your career.
- Locate your pain points
Be accountable to yourself.
Sometimes even the best of jobs can feel like the dirty pile of dishes left at the sink and all they do is glare t you as you try to work past them. Have a sit-down and go through the list of things that make you have dimmed the glow of your job. Ask yourself: what is it about my work that I have come to not like? Why is there such resistance? What can I do to make this change? Sometimes it’s as simple as changing departments while other times it can mean a change of scenery like moving to another town or country.
- Change what you can control
Now that you’ve figured out what it is that may make you want to reconsider your job altogether, what can you do to change it? At times it may be the fact that you’re being unreasonable with your expectations of the job or the company’s vision doesn’t align with yours. The best thing is some of these things can be changed, others cannot.
But remember that some of these things don’t happen overnight so be conscious of your expectations with wanting to see results immediately.
- Treat your work like a relationship
Just like in the early moments of dating, you found that every instant was exciting and full of possibilities. You liked the way she smiled when you walked into the room or you loved the way his minty-fresh cologne would linger upon your clothes after you’ve hugged him. A couple of months into the relationship and you become utterly disgusted by the smallest of things, like how he squeezes toothpaste onto his toothbrush.
Your work is like a relationship, so treat it like one.
If you want to fall back in love with your work, you need to show up to your relationship differently. If you even need to change your entire wardrobe, do it. Reconnect with why you actually fell in love and what made you want to work there in the first place. As much as we integrate the work we do with the skills we have, you have to dig deeper into what it is that made you tick. Find out what it is that made you long to know your job better – and not just to impress your superiors.
If you still hate your job, then maybe it is time to go elsewhere. Careers: Don’t Bi*Ch About Your Job, Just Go