Love is in the air this February 14th, but maybe not so much at work. Did you once love your job but the spark is gone? Feel stuck in a job of convenience? Not all of us have the opportunity to have our dream job (not that you shouldn’t strive for it!), but there are ways to fall for our work all over again or for the first time.
Get started by taking stock. What exactly is the problem? Your job feels tedious? Maybe you’re bored. The company is great, but you don’t like your boss? Maybe you feel cut off from your co-workers (cubicle syndrome)? Think over what’s bothering you, make a list if you need to, and get ready become smitten again.
Had the same job for five years? Is everyday beginning to feel the same? Do you feel like a cog in a wheel? If boredom is the culprit, maybe you need new challenges, a special project, or additional responsibilities. Think about what your department may need or what you may need to get a promotion. Start your journey there. Maybe learning some new software can get you moving forward. Perhaps your department’s webpage needs a good update. Can’t think of anything? Look back on old performance evaluations for areas that could use some improvement or ask your supervisor for project ideas or new duties. Your supervisor will be delighted at your initiative.
What if the boss is the problem? It can be difficult if there’s a relationship issue with your boss. But before you divorce yourself from your job, consider if the relationship can be saved. Is it a communication issue? Or perhaps you’re not seeing eye-to-eye on a project? An honest conversation with your supervisor might be called for to get back together again. Employ someone to help mediate the discussion if need be, like someone from HR. If the issue cannot be resolved or the relationship has dissolved beyond repair, it still doesn’t mean you have to call it quits. See if a department or shift change is a possibility. The lateral movement to another area just might provide the jumpstart you need.
Maybe you’re a lonely heart. You spend all your day in an office or cubicle with little to no interaction with your colleagues. You feel disconnected with nothing but drudgery to break up the day. It’s time to start putting yourself out there. Begin by engaging your co-workers with a simple “Hello”, “Good morning” or a “How was your weekend?”. Give them a genuine smile when you speak (Yeah, a lot of us are wearing masks, but a smile can be heard in your voice.). Your friendliness will be noticed, and they will return the sentiment. If you can, note their office decorations or photos. Ask how old their kids are or where a picture was taken. Now you’re starting conversations. Before you know it, you’ll be comfortable enough to join them on break or take lunch together. Now that you’ve made some friends at work, your job will be far more bearable, maybe as far as enjoyable.
How about this scenario? You’re job isn’t great but not worth quitting because of money, benefits, etc. However, the excitement of the relationship has faded. Maybe you need to cheat (Gasp!). A side hustle might be just what you need to breathe life into your existence, especially if that gig is something you can be passionate about. Turn that hobby into a money making, even if it’s not a lot of money. Take on a charitable project and get some of those feel-good vibes. Whatever it is, make sure it puts a spring in your step.
Plan a getaway. Sometimes you just need to spend some time away from the job to get your groove back. It needn’t be an island retreat somewhere exotic. A night in a nice hotel can be enough of a change in routine to make a difference. Spend the rest of your time off doing exactly what you want. Forget the laundry or honey-do list and just do something you’ve been wanting to do. Go hiking, visit some museums, whatever it is don’t let it be mundane or part of your usual habit. Follow this advice, and you’ll find yourself refreshed and ready to return to work with renewed vigor.
Sometimes it’s about space. Office/cubicle space is notoriously blandly colored and doesn’t exactly inspire excitement. If you’re allowed, decorate your space with items that inspire you. If it’s already decorated, consider swapping out some items for something new. Or perhaps your space is chaotic with papers, files, USBs, etc. This can cause a lot of stress and make you feel disorganized. Carve out some time over, say, a week to get your office cleared up and systems in place. It’s likely to make you feel a whole lot better.
There may be other reasons you’re considering a breakup with your job. Share them in the comments, and we’ll talk about them!