Arriving late to work? Finding yourself caring less and less if your work is in on time, or of a high standard? Ignoring the warning signs that you're lacking enthusiasm for your job can lead to you needlessly moving on. Maybe you simply need to reinvigorate your love for the job that you desperately wanted not so long ago. So if the 'new has worn off', sit down and take stock of your career by using these 5 tips to proactively re-engage with your job.
1. Track it down
Ask yourself when you became unmotivated. Using your detective skills, try to figure out when, or even what it was that started the downward spiral. Was it a certain project or new job responsibility? Was there a change in support or scope? Maybe it was something outside the office that started impacting your feelings about the time you're spending at your job. If you can pinpoint when or why things started to become less than stellar, then you have a starting point to begin addressing the issue.
2. Re-evaluate your career goals
Part of managing your own happiness requires you to know your goals and ensure you are on the right path. Without a clear plan, your path can start to meander, leaving you feeling lost and meaningless. Setting a new goal, or even re-adjusting your old one can help you work out where your current role and experience fits into the grand plan. This can reinvigorate you by giving new meaning to your workday tasks, making them pieces of a larger puzzle. Your new perspective can help you find ways to fit new and exciting projects or tasks into your scope of work (see below).
And if your new goal requires you to gain some new experience or skills, you should be open to approaching your management. Many companies have development programs designed for retention of good employees, which includes personal development, mentoring and upskilling programs.
3. Find something to get excited about
Sometimes a change is as good as a holiday. The World Health Organization has identified monotony and meaningless tasks to be a stress related hazard at work. While all jobs have aspects that lack variety, if you don’t find a way to mix things up you can begin to feel like you are lacking control over your own work process, which can be seriously demotivating. Something as simple as starting that passion project, or getting added to a project committee can give your role that newness that it's been lacking.
Again, speak with your management about finding a way to insert something new into your routine. They want to avoid employee burnout and it's eventual turnover, so help them help you become re-invested in your work.
4. Switch up your routine
Unfortunately, adding a new task or project isn’t always something you can squeeze in at the current time. However, if you can change your daily routine around, you can make the workday feel like it's a new role. At least for a while anyway, giving you some breathing space until your schedule allows for a bigger change. You can also try changing up your workstation, moving desk locations or even working from home occasionally. Small changes can make a big difference, so there is no reason not to give it a try. And make sure you take advantage of your breaks. Add a walk, gym or yoga session midday to break up the monotony and get your blood pumping.
Remember that you are less likely to experience work-related apathy when some control can be exercised over portions of your day. By taking these little steps to be proactive in addressing the monotonous parts of your work process, you can find ways to reinvigorate your day on the job. And much like a snowball, once you get rolling, you should hopefully start to gather some positive momentum again.