Feeling "over it" at work? Regardless of the reason you took your job, it’s super normal that the initial shine wears off over time. For many of us, work can start to feel like a relationship once the “honeymoon” period is over and you get to know the real characteristics of what you’ve aligned yourself with!
Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. True honesty and genuine trust can come to light once you’re in deeper, helping you re-kindle the love you have for your company, role or work. Not sure how to draw out the good stuff when you're feeling frustrated or uninspired? Here are three key things you can think about to get started.
What has your company done (or not done) in the last year?
Is it mostly positive?
It’s natural to turn inward when you think about professional happiness, but before you start thinking about your own performance, consider what your company has accomplished in the time you’ve been there. Reflect on some of the moments when the organization has really shined, as well as those when it struggled. Has your company done something in the last six months that helped it stand out as a leader? Has the organization taken a brave stance that aligns with your values? By taking stock of the situation, you might be able to more clearly see what you have to be proud about.
On the other hand, think about whether your company has disappointed you in certain areas over the last year. These might be things like providing an environment with psychological safety, mentorship opportunities, or camaraderie that leaves you feeling excited about how you're contributing to the cause or mission each day. If you find that the negatives outweigh positives, you’ll know you have good reason to consider a new job, approach or company.
Can you flip your perspective?
Try helping someone who's new and still sees the magic.
Yes, hiring and supervising interns or new employees can take up your time and feel like a major energy drain—but these new people also have an interesting perspective: they’re still in the honeymoon phase with your organization, and are learning its culture. Instead of feeling frustrated, offer to help someone learn the ropes. This might be as simple as taking them to lunch, or even offering to give them a short primer before an important meeting you’re leading.
Not only will the person you’re helping appreciate the kindness you’re extending, but by helping someone, you may actually begin to create the culture you noticed when you first started.
What have you accomplished?
Why does it matter?
No matter how awesome the mission, humans get stuck in the drudgery of daily work. To hone in on what sets you apart, make a master list of your accomplishments. You’ll see just how prolific you’ve been during your time at work! If you’ve been at it for months or years, you might even be surprised to see just how much good work you’ve created during that time.
This exercise is a good way to remind yourself that you’ve made great progress, and it can inspire you to keep going — even if things seem like they don’t matter or feel too tough along the way.
Remember this: Though you might never get all the back to feeling you had when you first fell in love with your work, you can achieve a more mature and wise type of love—one that has a deeper understanding of what it means to persevere, and to expand your skillset while delivering value each and every day.
About the Author
Katie Crank is an attorney, social worker, and writer. She helps communities address decarceration, trauma, and the paths that lead women to justice system involvement. Katie also writes on the topics of health, productivity, and dog foster & adoption.