If you have loved your job in 2021, you would probably be in the minority! Feeling overworked, underpaid, and generally just ‘OVER IT’?
I am saddened to say that I have had more negative discussions about people’s satisfaction with their work this year than ever before. Sure, the pandemic is likely a part of it, but I have seen a rapid decrease in discretionary effort and positivity about work over the last few years. I expect the plight for purpose, feeling disenfranchised with large corporate industries and the evolution of the triple bottom line are also likely causes.
While the Australian economy has started to recover, it may be a little way off before pay, bonuses, and resources are back to what they were a few years ago. Therefore, you have 2 choices - you either find a new role or you create your own future.
11 Ways to Love your job Again:
Below are 11 ways through which you can get the spark back at work. Continue reading to find out.
1. Analyse the angst
What is it that you don’t LOVE about your role? Think hard about the angst and break it down into responsibilities, leadership, strategy, stakeholders and ethics/values and then rate (out of 10) how you feel about each of them. Angst builds from small things over time and after a period of time, you feel quite unhappy about everything. It is likely only 2-3 smaller things that you can identify and change to really shift things for you.
2. Speak to others (Externally & Internally)
Sharing a challenge is incredibly powerful and a way to form connections and gain relativity. Sharing discontentment is not necessarily venting in a negative way - it can be done confidentially and quite skillfully with a trusted colleague or peer. It will likely provide clarity on whether the challenges you face are systemic or only a problem in time.
3. Remind yourself what you are good at
It’s common to dislike an activity if it’s not a natural skill or if it bores you (because you have done it so much!). Are you in a role where you are regularly required to do something that’s not your strong suit? What percentage of the time are you doing tasks you are enjoying? Appreciate this will vary but if it’s less than 60% of the time, I would question the role fit.
4. Meditate/practice gratitude or equivalent
Brené Brown talks a lot about the effects of practising gratitude here
Have you filled a bucket today? A 1st class children’s book, teaching about giving and taking energy as well as kindness, using the invisible bucket you take everywhere. It’s a useful guide to daily happiness and how showing appreciation and gratitude can make you feel.
The positive effects of meditation are virtually indisputable; however, I cannot seem to do it! I even went to the Nan TienTemple recently and was taught by a high-ranking monk how to clear my mind and breath…. I still cannot seem to get past 3 secs of clear thoughts! I have seen the benefits of meditation and as such, personally find that walking and counting my steps is a way to achieve similar benefits to meditation.
Your energy is a huge part of how you feel and subsequently how you behave. Knowing where your energy comes from is no longer as simple as if you are an introvert or extrovert; what you consume; or whether you exercise, or meditate to restore your energy.
The intricacies of energy levels and how they differ between humans regardless of consumption, exercise and activities are truly phenomenal. If you have truly mastered how your body works and how you store, use and replenish your energy, then you are 5 steps ahead of most!
6. Priorities change
2021 (and the first half of 2022 for that matter) may have really taken it out of you and putting work first may be something that you might want to change over the coming year. Or it may be the other way around? It’s no longer as simple as whether you “live to work or work to live”. You’re human and every day/week/month may be slightly different for you. I have found that since I stopped comparing myself to others and running my own race, I have felt happier about my constant change in priorities.
7. Take some time to reset
When you find yourself starting to dread going into the office or counting down the hours till the home time, it might be time to take a break, hit pause, and recharge your batteries - a little time off can do wonders for your job satisfaction (after all, absence is meant to make the heart grow fonder, isn’t it?).
Speak to your team leader and take extended leave or a long holiday - chances are you will come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way. Or maybe you'll find that you're simply not cut out for your current role, organisation, or even career and decide to pursue a different path entirely.
Either way, it's important to listen to your body and mind if they're telling you it's time for a change. So go ahead and book that vacation, take a mental health day, or just enjoy a long weekend.
8. Give your time to core tasks - delegate the rest (if you can!)
You probably don’t love every single task you have to do on a daily basis. In fact, there are probably quite a few things you would rather not do at all. But what if delegation could help you get some of those tasks off your plate?
Not only would it make your life a little easier, but it could also give others in your team the chance to develop their skills in that area. So the next time you're feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, remember that delegation might be the answer.
9. Go out with your co-workers - get social!
If you're feeling burnt out at work, it might be time to go out for coffee or share a meal with your co-workers. Spending time with people you work with outside of work can help you to remember why you love your job in the first place - after all, we tend to spend more time with our co-workers than with our family members and friends! You'll get to know your co-workers better and build relationships that will make going to work more enjoyable. Plus, it's a great way to let off some steam after a long day at the office.
If the issue is that you are working remotely as a result of Covid and you miss seeing people in the office - organise a get-together outside of work, or a virtual meal (although aren’t we over the virtual experience by now?!).
10. Get a passion project
If you're anything like me, you've been in a job where you feel like you're stuck in a rut. The day-to-day feel monotonous, and your motivation starts to wane. But there's hope! One way to breathe new life into your career is to work on a passion project. What’s a passion project you ask? These are projects that allow you to tap into your creative side and explore new ideas and things you are passionate about.
And the best part is that they can be totally unrelated to your normal duties. So if you're looking for a way to love your job again, look into starting a passion project - who knows, it just might be the shot of adrenaline you need.
11. Leverage your perks
Studies have shown that people who have access to workplace perks and benefits are generally happier than those who don't. So if you want to be happy at work, make sure you're taking advantage of all the great perks and benefits your company offers.
Many employers offer EVPs (employee value proposition), EAP (employee assistance program), and health-related perks and benefits. Taking advantage of these benefits can help you stay happy and healthy.
If you're looking to reignite your passion for your job, or simply find new ways to love it again, we hope these tips have given you some ideas. We encourage you to try a few of them out and see which works best for you. And most importantly, have fun with it! After all, if you're not enjoying yourself at work, what's the point?
About the Author:
Victoria is an Executive Search Specialist, entrepreneur, Founder, and Managing Director of Parity Consulting and Evolve Sales Training; a thought leader, wife, and mother, blogger, and a wine snob! She believes in life by design and is blessed to have found her career home in the training & recruitment industry, founding Parity Consulting on the belief that the candidate and client must be equal within the hiring process.
Parity Consulting works with clients who embrace diverse and inclusive environments and empower their teams to bring their authentic whole selves to work. We encourage people with different beliefs, abilities, backgrounds, and life experiences to contact us.