On your very first day of work, you were probably a bit nervous and very excited. You were ready to give it your all and that feeling went on for months. But as the routine of work settles in, we sometimes slip up and find ourselves unhappy or bored with the work we’re doing. It’s a natural part of life and will happen way more than once. However, before you give up on performing or decide to quit, here are some great things you can try to rediscover your work mojo and love your job again.
Reorganize your workday
You might be unhappy because of the monotony of your workday. Shake it up a bit by doing things out of order and abandoning your routine. The first couple of days may feel super disorganized, but that’s a good thing! It will feel like you’re doing something fresh, rather than sticking to the same schedule. Add time to your day for walks and brainstorms. Wrestle your job away from “the routine” and back into your own hands.
If you aren’t already, get your priorities and important tasks out of the way in the morning. Leave mindless, repetitive, or boring tasks for later in the day, where you’ll likely be tapering off in productivity.
Ask for a new project -- or create your own!
Any good manager knows that one of the best ways to motivate a dissatisfied employee is to give them new responsibilities or a new project to work on. If you’re unhappy with your work, go to your manager and explain yourself. Give sound logic for why you should be given a new direction and new responsibilities. Ask what might be available as an alternative or addition to your daily work.
The best way to approach your manager about this is to have something ready for them ahead of time. If you come up with your own project that you think will greatly benefit the team or the entire company, then you should come ready with a sales pitch for why you should be given the chance to work on it. You’ll make your manager’s life easier and can potentially work on something of your own design.
The worst thing you can do is sit it out, wait, and only tell your manager the truth when they ask you why you’re quitting, or why you’re performing poorly. Being proactive shows them you want to rediscover your passion for your job.
Work somewhere else
No, that doesn’t necessarily mean find a new job! It means get up and go work in a different part of your office. A simple change of scenery can be a great way to feel refreshed at your job. If you have a laptop, unplug and take it somewhere else, like the employee lounge, a conference room, or even the lobby. If you’re on a desktop, grab a pen and a notebook and do some offline work.
Use this time to work through a few hard problems in an entirely different environment. Unchain yourself from your desk and consider the entire office your workspace. You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference this makes.
If you’re in the type of work environment that allows it, working outside the office (at coffee shops, libraries, even a park) is an even better change of pace.
If you’re unhappy, it’s likely because things got monotonous. Monotony is a sign of the lack of a challenge. Falling into routine means you’re not being challenged or creating challenges for yourself. This also means you’ve stopped learning new things at work. The best thing you can do to fix this is to start learning again.
Many employers have development programs that teach you new skills. If not, there are plenty of online resources that you can use. Take advantage of these resources to learn something new and difficult. If you’re a marketer, explore a bit of sales. In business development? Spend some time learning about product. Web developer? Try marketing.
Find a skill that you can get passionate about and invest time in learning it. When you feel comfortable with your progress, ask for or come up with cross-functional projects that allow you to take advantage of your newly learned skills. It’ll be hard at first, but highly rewarding in the end, and allows you to set, work towards, and achieve a specific goal.
Remember that you have options, and that your happiness comes down to your attitude and the things you do to make your situation better. Recognize when things have gone stale and could use some shaking up. When that sentiment hits, take advantage of it to take your career to new heights. If you’ve tried everything and reached the end of your rope, then it just might be time to look for a new job -- get started on JobHero.