One of the top comments I hear from my clients is, “I like my job, but I’m bored. It doesn’t excite me.” After 5, 10, 20 years at a company, it’s understandable to become wearied by the same routine, people, and projects. Here are some tips to reignite the spark in your career, and how to fall in love (again!) with the work that you are doing.
Take Inventory and Delegate
Before you change WHAT you do, you must KNOW what you do. Make a list of the tasks that you complete every day. These tasks can be small or large, from “grab coffee from the 2nd floor break room” to “meet with the legal team to discuss next steps on the ________ project”. Then, categorize these things as “I enjoy” and “I do not enjoy”. Getting this list written down provides a visual of what has been pent up in your head and lets you see what work activities you would be happy to continue with and what you’d prefer to say goodbye to. Over time, find positive opportunities to remove the “I do not enjoy” tasks from your job. Is there a colleague looking for a new challenge? An intern begging for work to do? An innovative way to complete the task using different technology? Great! Refine your career so that you are doing the work that excites and motivates you and watch as you look forward to beginning your work each day.
Focus on Your Goals
Why are at this job? Was it a stepping stone to your next position? To make money? It can be easy to fall out of love with your career when you feel like there is not a greater purpose to your work. To combat this, you should always have a few long-term goals in mind to be chipping away at. These goals can be anything from earning a promotion to gaining skills in preparation for the next company you would like to work at. When you know the WHY for your work, you will be able to see the purpose in your day to day activities.
Ask for Different Work
While you may love your company’s mission and colleagues, the actual daily activities can become mundane when performed day after day. Consider reaching out to your supervisor about having a conversation regarding new projects. But be warned, it’s very important to ask a certain way. Do not come across as bored (even if you feel that way), but rather that you feel comfortable and confident in what you are doing now and are looking to take on new tasks to refine and grow your skills. If done correctly, your manager will see you as a go-getter, and be thrilled to know that you are excited and motivated to take on different projects.
Shake Things Up
An easy way to add interest to your workday is to simply change out your routine. Do you tend to sit at your desk all day to complete work? Consider moving your laptop to a spot outside. Always grabbing your Americano and bagel from the Starbucks in the office lobby? Perhaps try out a latte and breakfast wrap instead. You may be surprised that making small changes to your routine can add a bit more interest, even if your actual work is staying the same.
Create an Exit Strategy
If you are truly unhappy with your work, maybe it time for a change. Feel empowered to consider outside opportunities but be mindful of your approach unless you are positive that you are leaving your current company, no matter what. Even if you are ready to pursue other opportunities, ensure that your work ethic does not weaken. Leaving on good terms, with a great network and resources available for later in your career, is the sign of a truly successful exit.
Debi is a coach to high performers, leaders and business owners wanting to achieve more and grow beyond what they believe is possible. Known for her clarifying insight and a pragmatic approach, Debi brings her clients to the next step by asking the right questions during strategy development and supporting them during strategy implementation. With experience in management, recruitment and employee development for various industries, she has a wide scope of expertise and will confidently guide you towards a successful future in your career.
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