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Relearn to Love Your Job
It’s easy to be excited about a new job. Everything is fresh, you’re constantly being challenged and you’re engaged and learning all the time. After a while things settle down, you learn your role back-to-front, the job becomes monotonous and boring, and work-related stress builds up. Small things that never used to bother you become a huge ordeal, and suddenly you find yourself resenting your job and not wanting to go in to work.
Yet you don’t want to leave your job. You’re on a career path you want to pursue, you like your workplace and colleagues, and it’s hard to give up the financial security of regular work. So what can you do?
Grow your career
Look for more opportunities to expand and grow your abilities. Start pursuing professional development opportunities on your own and at work. Put your name forward to go to conferences, join professional associations, seek out a coach or mentor in your field to help you grow, and take courses offered through your employer or find your own. If a temporary position opens up above you, volunteer to take it on until a permanent replacement can be found.
You can even approach your boss to find out what opportunities there are for advancement within the organization – opportunities have a way of finding you if they know you’re looking. Going beyond the immediate needs of your job to find ways to stimulate your career is an excellent way to keep yourself challenged and active.
Look for challenges
Doing the same thing, day in and day out, can wear anyone down. If you wallow in that monotony, you’ll quickly find yourself becoming unhappy and feeling hopeless about your work.
Reinvigorate yourself by seeking out new challenges at work and at home. Rethink how you perform your job and find ways to make yourself quicker and more efficient. Set yourself ambitious new targets. Can I sell X this week? Can I process X applications a day? Can I finish that project in less time than I thought possible? Finding ways to push yourself can rekindle that excitement you felt when you first started the job.
Find your work’s value
Focus too intently on the daily grind and you can lose sight of the overall value you’re creating. It’s worth taking a step back and looking at the big picture from time to time. How has the work I’ve done affected the organisation? What value have I created for my employer and my community? What have I achieved this year?
With the proper perspective, you can see that even the small, monotonous tasks that make up much of your day are actually contributing to something great. If you forget or ignore the true value of what you are doing, you’ll likely end up dissatisfied with what you do.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect your job! What you can do is change your work environment and your daily schedule to make it a more enjoyable experience.
Small changes can make a big difference. Add art or other personal touches to your workspace. Incorporate more exercise into your day to improve your mood. Go for a run before work, so you’re bright and alert in the mornings, or have lunch with colleagues and turn it into a bonding experience.
Set up your desk and chair properly and focus on improving your posture – you’d be amazed at how much it can change your mood. Take time out to celebrate special occasions like birthdays, charity events and organisational achievements. Make a lot of small changes and it adds up to one big difference in how you experience your day!
Remind yourself why you chose this job in the first place
Look back at when you first applied for this job and to when you first found out you’d got it. You were probably thrilled and excited. What was it that attracted you? What made you apply? What made it so exciting when you first started? Refocus your attention on those elements of your work and discover what motivated you to take this job in the first place.
Take regular breaks
We might feel like cutting out breaks, eating lunch at our desk and not using our annual leave shows dedication to our employer and our work – and it does. Yet not taking breaks can have negative impacts on productivity, effectiveness and efficiency. Make an effort to get out of the office at lunch – even for 5 minutes – and you can actually improve your productivity. Taking lunch breaks and using annual leave entitlements can also decrease stress and absenteeism.
Overall, taking breaks can lead to a more healthy, safe and productive work environment, and make you feel better about the work you do.
Learn to relax
Letting go of anxiety and stress is essential to long term happiness in your life and work. Stress builds up and becomes irritating, persistent and debilitating, affecting everything you do. It can even be contagious, affecting your family, friends and workmates too.
Making time to chill out, listen to music, socialise and exercising can all be effective techniques to help dissipate stress. Reduce your stress, change your whole outlook on life and your work might just become fun and interesting again!
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