Fall in love with your career again

Being in love is amazing! Everything seems bright, breezy and super easy; you can’t stop talking about the one you love, you think about them all the time and can’t wait until you see them again. Well, the first few months in a job can feel exactly the same – if you’re in the right place….

Then, one morning, you wake up and think ‘I love what I do but I’m not In Love with my job anymore‘. The honeymoon period is over so now what? Never fear, it is possible to rekindle the love affair with your job, you just have to fall in love with the idea of working at it. Here are some tried and tested tips to get the passion going again:

GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT – We all know what we want when it comes to the choice of partner, preferred holiday destination or favourite ice cream flavour so, work out what it is you like about work, and then you’ll have an idea of where to find it. Many people assume that their bosses know what they want, but they are not mind-readers. Ask for what you want; If you want more money or a flexible schedule, ask for that too. If your alternative is to quit, what do you have to lose?

TRY NEW THINGS – Say ‘yes’ to the company social, the ‘team building’ drinks after work; forging new office friendships and collaborations might be just what you need. Why not volunteer to lead company projects or maybe suggest new ways of doing business that puts your skill set to the fore. Propose your dream project or ask to be put in charge of something.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE – Take a long, hard look at your work surroundings and, if it’s possible, change your office. The chances are if you’ve worked in the same office environment, eight hours a day, for years it will be driving you nuts! If it’s in your power, repaint. If not, make other subtle improvements like adding pictures, plants or moving furniture. For a different perspective try working from a different place; another desk in an open office or a favourite coffee shop rather than home.

GET TO KNOW THE BUSINESS – Talk to people you don’t ordinarily talk to, invite different people to lunch and take the time to get to know them, and what they do. Change your own attitude. Smile. Thank people. Refuse to give difficult people power over your emotions. Consciously list one awesome thing that happened every day – sometimes it’s easy to let the day to day frustrations cloud the bigger purpose of why we took the job in the first place. Try to look at the big picture of what your company’s doing and the part you play. Chances are, your position is far more critical than you realize.

SHOW THE LOVE – Bring in some goodies to share with the team occasionally or offer to get the morning coffees. It will make you feel good, and your workmates valued.

KEEP THINGS FRESH – Continue to improve yourself with professional development; ask to be put on those training courses, networking events or company seminars.

SHOW YOUR COMMITMENT – Find ways to develop your role, team, the business. Be interested…why not volunteer as a mentor to one of your junior colleagues? Offering a helping hand or support to someone else feels good and will remind you why you fell in love with what you do.

WE ALL LOVE A CHALLENGE –  Set yourself some key goals to work towards: the next promotion; achieving your bonus; targets for the team.

CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS – Everyday, look for something (however small) that went well for you, or your team, and celebrate.

SEE THE LIGHTER SIDE – It might sound silly, but making time to laugh at work is hugely important. Smiles and laughter release feel-good chemicals in the brain and will automatically lift your spirits. Seeing the lighter side is important, especially in pressured environments. It allows you to develop emotional resilience to draw on when things go wrong and gives you a sense of perspective.

WE ALL NEED A BREAK – Take a lunch break, go outside and get some fresh air and sunlight (Vitamin D is an important mood-enhancer), walk briskly or take an exercise class. Book yourself a holiday to look forward to as a reward for all your hard work. Making time for leisure interests and socializing is also hugely important for recharging the batteries and freeing up some head-space for creativity and problem solving, leading to a happier, and more motivated, you. Having broader interests, outside of work, can also give you a valuable secondary perspective that can add so much to your working life.

REMEMBER, LOVE IS A TWO-WAY STREET – We all need to feel the love; it’s the same in any relationship so why should it be any different at work? If you don’t feel valued, trusted or there’s a lack of commitment or connection, talk to your boss to understand what’s going on and if it can’t be fixed, then maybe it’s time to move on.

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