A job is like any other relationship in your life. You invest a huge amount of time and emotions, even if you state, that it is just to pay the EMIs. Like all relationships, you go through the cycle of fun and excitement and then, the phase of stagnation and boredom wherein the buzz seems to peter out.
Gallup's State of the Global Workplace report 2017 shows that only 13% of Indians, whether employed in the organized sector or otherwise, are actively engaged at work; meaning they are enthusiastic about and committed to their job and workplace. Compare this with the percentage of "engaged" workers in the U.S. which is at 34% - which is far from heartening.
This paints a stark picture of tens of millions out there, who are either in the falling or fallen out of love phase, doesn’t it?
Some of you may think, you should move to explore bigger and better opportunities. Some, inadvertently get into the BMW (Bitching, Moaning, Whining) zone and continue to surround themselves in a self-fulfilling prophecy of gloom.
You feel listless and disengaged, after years of being in a love relationship with your job or organization. So, how do you bring back the mojo and reset to the time when you were most excited with your job?
Here are six tips that can help:
- Make an appreciation list
Make a list of all that you still love about your job and the organization, as on today and right now. Be as exhaustive as you can and put it all down on paper. That’s a must. Circle the ‘absolutely must have’ and underline the ‘good to have’. Now, compare the two and evaluate the situation.
For a person who has an ailing family member, proximity may trump a promotion. Or a person who has children, the need for additional benefits may be a high priority. This will set the needle on whether you are really, unhappy with the job or the organization or comparisons between ‘others’ have taken a toll on you.
- Make a list of frustrations
List down everything that makes you feel frustrated and unhappy about your job or organization. Recognize, what is really upsetting you. Separate the ones that are in your control and can be changed from those that are beyond repair. This helps in the clarity of the actual issue that is irking you. Assess the situation, it may not be all that bad.
- Ask yourself, ‘What else is possible, here?’
If you are reading more into the situation than it is, then you may need to recalibrate the way you perform. If the values differ, then perhaps, it’s time to reboot and move.
- Focus on ‘why’ you are here.
Over time, as employees, you become complacent and make the mistake of getting stuck in the day-to-day chores. You forget what drives you to get out of bed, each morning. You forget your true purpose and join the rat race to stay ahead for the sake of being ahead. Your boredom or restlessness requires something meaningful, that which made you choose to be here. Pause. Reflect on your ‘why’ and reconnect with your purpose. See if you can match your purpose to your work and contribute, to make a significant difference.
For instance, if you are in the entertainment business, reframe your idea of work. See it as adding hope and laughter in the lives of thousands of people who are fighting battles of their own. Your work will seem bigger than what it is. You’ll see it as impacting lives, each day.
- Make small changes.
Whether you realize it or not, we all like to be challenged because we thrive on growth by design. However, every job comes with its own degree of boring and uninspiring tasks. Ask yourself, what are you doing to learn new things and take on new challenges?
Finding new opportunities requires proactive efforts. Look for ways in which you can make it better for yourself. It begins with getting outside of your comfort zone. Perhaps, rearranging your desk or space, mixing with a different set of people, re-evaluating your interactions at work, upgrading your skill. Having an outlet outside of work can kindle the spark of positivity and self-motivation in the job. Make a commitment to your hobby, maybe. If you love painting or acting, then spend time pursuing it and do a side hustle. It’ll rekindle the spark absent in your job, right now.
- Speak up and brainstorm with your manager.
Our genetic disposition to want to evolve and grow requires an environment that is challenging and not always too comfortable. When was the last time, you reached out to the management, to examine your career graph and the opportunities in the organization? Have you communicated your ability to do more or be more with them? Or discussed your colossal workload that killed the joy of loving your job. Just because you've settled down, doesn't mean you have to settle. Get out there and be heard. Sometimes, all you need is someone to lend you an ear.
- Reassess your job/market value
Sometimes, it takes an interview to re-discover the worth of your role and job. Traverse the journey from day one to where you are now. Assess your job function and role and figure out what is it you want from a job in the next 3 or 5 years. Rework your resume and get out there. An interview will help you in taking the decision - of being in gratitude for what you already have or decide that it’s time to forge a new path.
Yes, relationships over time can get weary and stale and all they need to reignite the spark is the fire that inspires. It does not need to be a separation or divorce. While looking for a new job is the logical solution however, it may not always, be the right answer.
Because there is no ‘perfect’ job. Ideal culture, handsome pay, easy hours, work-life balance and stimulating work may not always add up for every organization. Learn to accept the things you cannot change. Re-evaluate and work on the things you can.
At the end of the day, all that matters is how you feel and what you perceive as your contribution and the impact you leave behind.