I’ve noticed a bit of a general malaise creeping in over the last few months… not just for me but also with some of my clients. And it’s got me thinking about how we deal with things when it all becomes a bit of a grind.
I mean, we all have down days at work, right? But when those days drag into weeks (or longer!) it becomes a rough patch. Unexpected challenges, changes in your work environment or unanticipated complications… everything feels like hard work.
Very quickly your energy is drained, you’re tired and frustrated. Your glass is half empty, self doubt creeps in, your motivation wanes and your confidence gets wobbly.
Losing your enthusiasm for the work you do sometimes happens all at once but more often it creeps up on you. One day you realise you can’t remember the last time you felt excited about going to work.
When your career mojo has hit a wall
I’m sure you remember, possibly vividly, the palpable excitement you felt when you started in your current role. This was going to be IT, the job that changed everything. Think about it… you know I’m right.
Almost without exception everyone I’ve ever spoken to about starting a new role has is on the spectrum of optimistic to truly excited… even if the role is not exactly what they want, not quite the right fit, or more of the what they were already doing.
New roles, regardless of how they’ve been acquired, are filled with opportunity and promise.
And now, at whatever period of time it is later, here you are… disillusioned, disheartened and deflated.
Your progress has stalled, every day feels like a personal battle, or you’re coasting through the week, looking forward to the weekend and wishing you were somewhere else.
If you’re nodding along, here’s what I want you to know – a) feeling like your career motivation has hit a wall can happen to anyone, at any time… yep, even those in their dream careers, and b) don’t panic, it’s absolutely possible to get things back on track.
Five ways to reignite your enthusiasm for your career
1. IDENTIFY WHAT’S MISSING
Take some time to reflect on what’s missing in your current work situation. Are you feeling unchallenged or bored? Do you feel what you’re doing isn’t meaningful or you’re not making a difference? Also acknowledge what you enjoy about your work… it’s so easy to just focus on all the negatives. Understanding what you appreciate about your work and what’s missing is the first step to figuring out how to recharge your career mojo.
2. GET CURIOUS
Explore what else is out there. It’s easy to forget there’s a whole world of other opportunities outside your current work place. Apply benign curiosity – what else exists that might align with your passions and interests. Speak to others – those in your personal and professional networks – and do some research. The more you learn about different opportunities, the more likely you are to either find something that sparks your motivation… or rekindle your passion for your current role.
3. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Feeling isolated or disconnected from others in your workplace or industry can be a major factor in losing your enthusiasm. Connect with peers in your organisation or industry and build new relationships internally and externally with like-minded professionals. A strong, supportive network of connections will provide valuable support, motivation, and even lead to new career opportunities.
4. CHALLENGE YOURSELF
Creating a new challenge to work towards provides a sense of motivation and accomplishment. Volunteer for or take on a new project, learn new skills or set yourself a time-based career objective (e.g. by [this date], I’ll have achieved [X]). This will give you a sense of purpose and direction in your career, and help you stay motivated and engaged.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
It’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Stress and burnout are major factors that will drain your passion for your career, so ensure you take time for self-care. This can be exercise, eating well, and prioritising rest and relaxation. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the challenges of your career and find renewed motivation and fulfilment in your work.
Remember, your career is a journey and road won’t always be perfectly smooth. It’s ok to take a moment, to pause, make some adjustments and regain your work mojo.
Ready for a new chapter in your working life? The secret might be simpler than you think… start by taking the Fix Your Career quiz to uncover what’s keeping you stuck and the steps you can take to start figuring things out.