Are you in a job that has just enough perks to keep you around, but enough stressors and frustrations that you start to resent showing up on time? It would almost be better if you had a clearly toxic workplace or a reason to leave — but alas, there are just enough positives about the job to keep you pulling your weight.
Don’t settle for the bare minimum. While we don’t all have to be passionate our jobs, everyone deserves to want to bring their best to work each day, and there’s a lot you can do to love your job again. If you know there’s something special about your job, but you’re just not feeling it anymore, here are four things you can do to fall in love all over again:
1. Rediscover the people
Feeling like we belong is one of the top 5 things we need to be happy at work. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that people who have a “best friend” at work are more likely to be productive and engaged. That’s good for your boss, yes, but it’s also good for you: work friends make work better.
If you don’t love your job right now, it’s likely that you also don’t feel very connected to the people you’re working with. Take some time to reconnect with co-workers and higher ups on a personal level and see if that doesn’t boost your interest in the work they’re doing, too. This could be as formal as signing up for an extracurricular activity like a company softball or volleyball team, or just asking one coworker to lunch each week (but watch out for office romance, of course!).
2. Revamp your habits
You know how buying a fancy new pen can totally make your work day (or is that just me?). Same goes for your workplace habits. Or, as inspirational business leader John C. Maxwell says, “You’ll never change your life until you change something that you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
And that’s how tiny changes can have a big impact on how you feel about your work. From simple physical activities like getting up walk 5 minutes or drinking a certain amount of water every hour to big-picture tweaks like finally asking for that promotion or advocating for the employee-boss relationship you need, small changes to your workday habits can help you find a renewed sense of purpose in what you do.
3. Find a work-related hobby
Sometimes on-the-job boredom happens because you’ve reached a competence plateau in your field of work. Unfortunately, that’s the downside of mastery: ideas and experiments that once were exciting no longer get your adrenaline pumping, and now even new assignments feel like the “same old same old.”
How can you love your job again? Challenge yourself to take it to the next level. Find after-hours activities that will expand your skills or require you to throw everything you’ve got at what you’re doing. For example, if your job requires you to present or speak in front of a group, find a local Toastmaster’s International group and get involved. If you’re in programming and your work only uses one computer language, invest some time in learning others to see how they might apply to what you’re doing at work. You may have met the requirements of your job right now, but there’s nothing that says you can’t exceed them in your off time – and that’s a great way to line yourself up for a promotion in the future.
It’s nearly impossible to love your job all day every day. But if you find yourself loving it less and less every day, you can turn the tide by applying these three habits to your workday.