12 Ways to Rekindle Passion for Your Job


Not loving your job, or even hating it, seems to be a part of life these days. Drew Carey once said, "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called everybody, and they meet at the bar."

Some people are lucky, and always love their jobs, but most of us love it for a while, before forgetting its highlights and focusing on its flaws. However, your current job doesn't have to be a drag. All it takes is a paradigm shift.

1. Write Down the Good Parts of Your Day

There is good and bad in everyone, and in every day. Even on the days that result in you getting home with a scowl on your face, drinking a double scotch, and pulling out your hair for two hours, something good must have happened. True, it may be hard to find, but try and dig.

Make a log, on your computer or in a journal. Perhaps a coworker gave you a compliment. Maybe you had a really tasty bagel on the way to work. Or, was the sun shining as you walked from the car or train to your office? When it's something much bigger, like working in a project you really enjoyed, log that in detail. As you look back over your weeks, and months, you'll see a record of enjoyment. That can help make the negative feelings go away.

2. Hang Out With People That Make You Happy

People at work can be a great source of happiness. In fact, all those times that you laughed at work, or felt happiness, most likely came from your interactions with other people. So, find ways to interact more with the people that make you feel good about yourself. And conversely, avoid the people who drag you down. That guy who never has anything good to say about the job, or anyone else, is not going to make you feel great. But the one who lifts your spirits can bring you into a different attitude quickly. Stick with the positive ones.

3. Compare Your Job to One That Sucks

We measure our misery or success by those around us. While you may think you have a job that stinks, do a little digging, and find out what jobs really do suck. You may hate what you do now, but would you rather be doing something demeaning for minimum wage? (And if the answer is yes to that one, maybe you really do need to move on.) Some people in other countries are risking death for barely enough money to feed and clothe themselves. How does your job stack up? If you're still complaining about monotonous data entry, or not having the complete respect of your peers, it may be time to rethink your outlook.

4. Remember What Your Job Allows You to Do

So most of the time, the job is awful. However, what does it allow you to do that isn't awful? Maybe it's the two-week vacation you took to a tropical island. Perhaps it helped pay for the Harley Davidson parked in your driveway, or season tickets to see your favorite sports team. Yes, while your job may not make you happy, it provides the income and security to bring wonderful things into your life.

5. Find the Positive in the Little Things

Looking at the big picture isn't always the best strategy. You have to find joy in some of the smaller aspects of your day-to-day routine. Maybe it's the fact that you get to sit down, put your feet up, and drink coffee a few times a day. Hey, you get paid for it. That's nice. Maybe it's even smaller than that. Your chair felt really comfy, or you got a great parking spot. You don't have to concentrate on the whole day, or the big issues. Find something small, each day, to be thankful for.

6. Take Moments Just for Yourself

Even at work, you can have some "me time." Employers are required to give you adequate work breaks. Take that time to switch off, completely. That means go outside, walk around, read a book, close your eyes and listen to music, or meditate. It may not always be possible to do that, depending on what you do and where you work, but there should always be an opportunity to find a moment of peace in the daily grind.

7. Ignore What You Cannot Change

You'll often hear people worrying about things that are, to be blunt, completely out of their control. The easiest way to deal with these problems is to shut them out. If layoffs are coming, you will not have any control over that situation, so ignore it. By all means, prepare for the worst, but get on with your day. If the company has a system in place that you blatantly disagree with, but cannot change, then forget about it. If you cannot change something, you are giving it way too much energy by obsessing about it. You'll feel much happier if you accept what is beyond your control.

8. Fix What You Can Change

There may be things in your company that you cannot control, but there are also things you can definitely impact. If you hate the way your office space is set up, see what you can do to change it. Are your hours flexible? Can you get the awful coffee replaced with a better brand? Can you talk about dress code, or suggest new methods of doing things that will save people time? You are never going to change the way the CEO does business, but you may be able to change his mind on having plants in the building, or endorsing "bring your kids to work day."

9. Get Really, Really Organized

A lot of the stress we encounter in our daily routine comes from a lack of organization and preparation. Too often, we can leave ourselves too little time to get a certain task done. We may rush to work, have a messy office, or miss appointments. Get around this by organizing, and using the latest apps for your smartphone. You can set reminders that take the worry out of a daily schedule. You can log the names and important information about all of your clients and colleagues. Everything can be setup to work smoothly, and with more organization comes less stress, and a better outlook on the job.

10. Take Significant Time Off If You Can

If you really are just completely burned out, get away from it all. Some people, especially in America, are afraid to take time off. They say it looks bad, or they might not be seen as indispensable. There is simply no excuse not to take time off, especially if it drastically changes your attitude. If you have a few weeks of vacation saved up, take them. Even if it's just to stay at home, you need to escape. If you have sick time, use it to heal your mind. And if things have become really bad, look into FMLA. You can take up to 12 weeks off, every year, and your job will be protected. You will be covered if it's a serious health condition, and depression or stress can be debilitating.

11. Find Ways to Take on New Responsibilities

If the daily grind is wearing you down, find something new to do at work. Some factories do this as a way to prevent burnout, rotating people to different stations after a few hours to avoid a lack of concentration, and to keep accidents from happening. If you're always working on the same old stuff, see what you can do to shake things up. Can you swap roles with someone? Can you take on a new task? Can you create a new initiative? You would be surprised how much a change is as good as a rest.

12. Quit Being a Complainer

At the end of the day, your own attitude about your job can drag you down. Henry Ford, among others, said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't — you're right." Attitude can be the difference between seeing an opportunity for success, or something destined to fail. Complaining also brings others down around you. And that, in turn, can feed into morale issues and bad company culture. So, cheer up. Look at the list above, and find ways to change your outlook. You can bring a spark back to your career that could ignite something huge.

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