Holly Caplan is a workplace issues expert, career coach, and author ofSurviving the Dick Clique: A Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Male Dominated Corporate World. Ahead, she shares tips on how to reignite your love for your work when the spark is long gone.
Have you ever found yourself in a job where even waking up and getting out of bed feels hard to do? Where the thought of doing work you once loved is draining or dreadful now? It could be due to a new office dynamic, change in management, or just plain boredom, but for whatever reason, here’s the deal: you hate your job.
If you feel this way, you’re far from alone. According to a Gallup poll, 51 percent of the country’s approximately 100 million full-time employees aren’t engaged at work.
The good news is there are ways to change it up. Just like relationships, your work life will ebb and flow. Now look, there are some situations where you are simply working in a toxic hellholeand the best thing you can do for yourself is cut bait. But if your work environment has redeeming qualities, you may be able to shift your perspective and take tactical steps to refuel the fire. Especially if, deep down, you really do love what you do.
Here are five ways to love your job if you literally hate it:
Pick your clique
If you’re feeling frustrated at work, it’s easy to find those who feel the same; the old adage “misery loves company” applies here. But a negative clique can rob you of the little positive energy you may have left. Don’t get sucked in! Make the choice to seek out good energy instead. Looking to colleagues who are supportive and optimistic can drastically change your perspective.
After a while, our jobs can feel dull and stale. It’s easy to get stuck in this space. Change it up by getting uncomfortable! Challenge yourself to do things differently. For instance, in that Monday morning meeting, be assertive, raise your hand, and offer to lead on something you never would have before. This will force you to hone new skills and refresh your outlook.
Reconnect with others
A great way to reinvigorate yourself is to proactively set up meetings with people from different departments in the organization. This can break up your normal schedule and get your creative juices flowing again. Schedule time with five employees from different departments. Sit down with them to talk about their projects, what they’re excited about, and how you can collaborate. Taking a genuine interest in others will show your commitment, build trust, and help you feel like you’re moving forward.
Be the builder
Take the initiative to lead a team-building experience. Bonding over a group activity can give you a break from mundane tasks and strengthen your relationships with your coworkers. This could be an out-of-office activity orchestrated by a team-building company or a scavenger hunt that takes place in your office. Either way, team-building can help you see your colleagues in a new light, alleviate stress, and make you hate your job less.
People are generally afraid to put themselves out there, but you should communicate your issues to your manager. When meeting with her, tell her you feel you can be contributing more in your current role. Tell her that you have fresh ideas; write them down and bring a hard copy along to show that you’ve thought about this and that you’re serious. She’ll likely appreciate your initiative.
We spend so many hours of our lives at work and we invest our time, personal energy, and emotion in our daily roles. If you become stagnant or unfulfilled, you have the right to talk about it and try to change the tide. But don’t stand still and expect change to come to you.