By Sarah LandrumJust like relationships, every career has its ups and downs. In fact, the two have very similar cycles.There’s the dating/job-hunting phase, where it’s all about stellar first impressions; there’s the falling in love/getting hired phase, where you’re completely consumed with getting to know this new interesting element of your life a little better every day, and there’s even the break-up/resignation stage, where you move on to find a better fit and more happiness.Somewhere in between, of course, you may have that moment when you realize, (sigh), you’re bored. Whether it’s a long-time love or a long-term job, this thing that was once all bright and shiny has lots its luster. Only, you’re not ready to throw in the towel yet and accept that everything’s gone south.And as is the case with a relationship, it takes work to spice up a job that you don’t feel passionate about anymore. So check out these tips to fall back in love with what you do.
Give, Don’t Get
In a relationship, you give to the one you love without expecting anything in return. You do things to better each other and make each other happy. You can do this in your workplace, too.Instead of expecting your co-workers to come to you, go to them. Instead of waiting for your boss to dish out your next project or challenge, take some initiative. Contribute more, and you just may get more in return.
Move Past Things That Bother You…
That guy at the water cooler may always get on your nerves, and you may still be furious you weren’t given credit for that TPS report you spearheaded, but dwelling on a situation that’s ultimately trivial won’t get you anywhere. It’s time to let go of the past and spread love and joy around the workplace. Just like in a relationship, you can’t have good times if you’re constantly focused on the bad. Have the heart and the maturity to forgive, forget and move on.After all, you and your co-workers are there because you love what you do, right?
…Or Resolve Them
If a problem or dispute can’t go ignored any longer, talk it out. That doesn’t mean you should go around spreading rumors or dissing others. In relationships, problems are best solved by a couple’s mutual willingness to talk about their problems. You can do the same with the appropriate person at work, whether it’s your co-workers or your boss.
Make Small Changes
So you’re stuck in a comfort zone – used to a routine.What many people don’t realize right away is that making small changes in all parts of your life, not just relationships or work, can make you happier and feeling more fulfilled.Take a new way to and from work. Rearrange or clean your workspace. Ask your boss if you can tackle a new project. Talk to a co-worker you’ve been meaning to talk to. Do something small every day to freshen up the stagnant space you’ve been occupying.
Whether it’s work or your significant other, spending too much time with both can leave you feeling burned out. When this happens, you lose appreciation, and the smallest things can become annoying and burdensome.This is a sign that you should take some time to find your happiness again. You can use these feelings as a reason to take a well-needed vacation. If you’re unable to take time off from work, use your spare time to fuel a passion or hobby. Pick that instrument back up, spend some quality time with a good book or save the weekend for the kids. Whatever it takes to make you happy, do it.
Always Make Time for Fun
Work is work, but if there’s one thing that’s truly sad, it’s adults that have lost sight of their inner child. Don’t be afraid to show your funny side – it can lighten the mood and strengthen your network. Whether it’s in a relationship or the workplace, everyone loves someone who can let out a good laugh.Put some of your favorite childhood toys on your desk that others can notice. Send funny emails to your co-workers at the beginning of each day and talk about them later. Have wacky dress-down days. Fun is something we all need, so don’t lose sight of it.
Understand the Big Picture
Why are you here and not somewhere else? What can your company do for others? If you can answer the why comfortably, you’ll know you’re in the right place.People who are in successful relationships can think of thousands of reasons why they’re with their partner. Remember what attracted you to this job.There are hard times in both dating and working. It’s up to you to make the best out of every situation, so you’ll never lose the love for what you do.—If you don’t think you can salvage your relationship with your job, though, head to MyPerfectResume to get help crafting an application for the next work love of your life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Landrum is a career blogger and founder of Punched Clocks, a site for professionals seeking happiness and success in their careers. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.