Are you feeling stuck in a rut, or restless in your job? It’s normal to have the odd difficult day at work after the honeymoon period ends, but if you find the bad days are outnumbering the good, it might be time to do some recalibrating.
To help you identify what you need to do, we’ve asked Leah Lambart of Relaunch Me Career Consulting to share her expert advice on how to fall back in love with your job.
“Think about the skills you've gained and the wins you've had,” Lambert advises. “Remember to document these on an ongoing basis to remind yourself of how much you've achieved even when you have bad days.”
Make a list of what you enjoy doing. It may seem obvious, but the most important thing to do if you’re having doubts about your job is to gather your thoughts. You can do this by writing a simple list of pros and cons. “The list of pros will help you remember the reasons why you accepted the job in the first place,” Lambart explains.
“Then, take time to examine the list of cons, or what frustrates you about your current role. Think about which of these factors you could possibly influence, or which could be ‘fixed’.” Often just seeing your thoughts written down can help you clarify them and realise what’s right in front of you.
Redesign your role. You don’t have to always leave your job to find fulfilment. Positive situations can be right around you – you just need to put yourself in them by redesigning your job to include more of the tasks you enjoy.
“For example, if you’re someone who gets satisfaction from helping people, you could offer to be a ‘buddy’ to any new people joining the team or mentor a junior staff member,” Lambart suggests. “Think of opportunities where you can bring your passions to your work rather than trying to find a new career that matches your passions.”
Talk to your boss or HR. Sometimes it’s impractical to simply pick up extra tasks in order to get to the job you love. In this case, it’s worth having a chat with someone who can help.
“By speaking with your manager or human resources you may be able to make some changes to make your role more fulfilling, such as getting involved in some projects to expand your role, or delegating some menial tasks to junior staff,” says Lambart.
Don’t be too scared to speak up. Remember, managers are there to help you do your best work. “At the end of the day some small changes may be possible, which will allow you to be more engaged on a long-term basis.”
Seek out passionate people. “It’s very easy to become negative about work if you’re surrounded by people who make negative comments and engage in nasty office gossip,” Lambart says. If you’re feeling jaded and dejected, try changing your social circle to include more passionate people – those who are energetic, inspired and driven to do their jobs well.
Moods are contagious, so make a conscious effort to go to work with a positive attitude, says Lambart. “You may find that people also react to you in a more positive way and that overall you get greater satisfaction from your work.”
Celebrate your achievements. Finally, do the same with your output as you do with people: focus on the positive. “Think about the skills you’ve gained and the wins you’ve had,” Lambart advises. “Remember to document these on an ongoing basis to remind yourself of how much you’ve achieved even when you have bad days.”
The positive feelings that come from this could help you love your job again, as you’ll see what a difference your drive and determination can make.
If you’re still feeling unhappy in your job after all this, it may be time to move on. You can only adapt so much before you realise it may be the workplace that needs to change, not you. A new challenge might be just what you need to achieve a happy work life.