In these uncertain times, waking up and going to work is an achievement on its own. We have gone through a lot and we continue to adapt to our dynamic environment. Much like your personal life, your professional life is a work in progress.
When you start a job, it is all new and exciting. Do not get me started with the honeymoon phase! As time passes by, the job that once seemed so flawless may lose its luster. You may become complacent or disinterested without even noticing it. Before you call it quits, give yourself the opportunity to reconnect with your current job.
#1: FIND THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
If you find it challenging to drag yourself out of the bed for work every morning, the first step is to admit that your motivation to go to work is slowly dwindling. You are not as passionate as you used to be. Similarly, you may want to know the root cause of having unpleasant days at work. That said, this is nothing to be ashamed of! There are many factors that can affect your feelings such as the significant changes brought by the COVID-19 restrictions.
Instead of lamenting over it on your Twitter or Facebook feed, sit down and reflect. What are the possible causes of the issues you have at work? You must first examine the things contributing to what you are feeling in order to change for the better. Once the root of the problem is clear, you can start making small changes in your personal workspace and within yourself.
#2: PERSONALIZE YOUR WORKSPACE
Whether you are staying on a partially enclosed office workspace (i.e., a cubicle) or sitting in your home office, filling your workspace with special items can help boost your mood. Gather your favorite souvenirs, your favorite family photographs, your favorite indoor plants, or anything that sparks joy into your life. In those moments when you are feeling down and frustrated, being surrounded by things you love can help lift your spirits.
Do your best to make your personal workspace comfortable. If permitted, you may even collaborate with your colleagues to decorate the communal areas of your office. Fill it with items that everyone enjoys.
#3: LEARN NEW THINGS
Learning does not stop in school! You can broaden your knowledge and skills to ignite the curiosity from within. Sometimes, people feel frustrated at work because they lack certain skills that are necessary to succeed. On the other hand, you may be well-versed at your current job and still lack the knowledge to take on a desired new role. Not knowing how to approach an obstacle at work can affect your motivation levels.
The best way to tackle this roadblock is to invest in continuing education and to update your skills. Talk to your boss about the available trainings or certifications that will benefit you and the organization. Does the company offer in-house training? If not, you can search for online training programs that interest you. Look for online courses, in-person workshops, international conferences, and other training programs.
#4: PRACTICE GRATITUDE
One of the profound ways to reframe your relationship with your work is to identify all the good things about it. Practicing gratitude may seem hard at first, because you must see through the unpleasant circumstance and recognize the positivity. However, you have to realize that what you focus on – grows.
The good things are there, you just have to keep digging deep. For example, you appreciate your respectful supervisor, or you simply value the paycheck that keeps a roof over your head. What made you fall in love with the position in the first place? Go back to that moment. Writing down all the positive aspects of your job can remind you that these things exist. Use its positive energy to keep you going.
#5: MIX THINGS UP
“Habits can save us time, but they can also make us feel stagnant,” said Helen Godfrey of The Authentic Path.
Thinking outside the box or doing things beyond your usual routine can help you approach the day in a different light. If you always eat lunch in the same place, consider ordering food from a different store. If you rarely leave your desk, try taking a 5-minute exercise break. Approach tasks through new lenses to help you shake things up. Perhaps, a little variety or a change in perspective is what you need to refresh your relationship with work.
#6: TALK TO SOMEONE YOU TRUST
As we search for the elusive “perfect job”, we often lose sight of the good things in our current position. It is easy to get stuck in a loop of negativity and internalize frustrations during difficult times. Acknowledging that frustration exists can prevent it from being bottled up. Talking to someone who understands where you are coming from can help.
You can approach a mentor, a peer, a friend, a family member, or significant other. Your trusted confidant can offer a different perspective or a shoulder to lean on. It helps to pause and reflect.