“There’s no spark any more in what I do.”
A job you adore can start to get… well, a bit boring after a while. Things are working, everything runs smoothly, but the excitement and passion you once had for the work have waned. Well at least this happen to me. It feels like running in a circle.
Then I stumble on this linkedIn post by Bernard Marr – “Have You Got Low Career Libido? Here Are 3 Simple Remedies“.
How to put the spark back in your job
Just like long-term relationship, you’re going to have to put in some effort if you want to get the magic back in your relationship to your job.
1. Try something new
The primitive parts of our brains are fascinated with the new—or, more specifically, a new twist on something we already thought we knew. When we repeat something over and over again, it becomes boring and mundane, but switch up just one aspect and the process becomes novel again. (Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand if you’re skeptical.)
The same is true for your work, and finding something “new” can be simpler than you think. You can, of course, request new tasks or volunteer for new opportunities, but you can also do something as simple as having lunch with someone different, working from a different place (home, cafe, even a different desk).
Any new experience you can incorporate into your work day can poke your brain just enough to remind it to be engaged and interested in what you’re doing.
2. Learn something new
For me, and for many I suspect, learning is a truly enjoyable pursuit, and learning new things about my field inspires me to greater action. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as going back to university for an advanced degree (although that certainly counts); education can include reading the latest books in your field, listening to podcasts and reading blogs, attending conferences and workshops or taking a course (online or off).
In fact, the method of learning and indeed even the information are less important than the act of expanding our horizons and thinking outside of our cubicle or office. Learning about fields that are tangential to your own can be hugely beneficial to give you a wider perspective and broader view.
And, if you’re worried about having time, you shouldn’t be. Books, blogs, scholarly journals and the like can be read on your phone any time of the day. Podcasts and audiobooks could enrich your commute. And many conferences and workshops are being offered virtually these days, with no travel or personal days required.
3. Reconnect with your bigger “why”
In the day-to-day bustle of the workplace, it’s easy to forget the passion that drove you into your field in the first place, but it is possible to get that passion back. Recall how you felt when you first got this job, or got your first job in the industry. How did you feel? Were you going to change the world, make a big splash, or become the next [fill in the blank]?
Reconnecting with the driving force that made you choose this field in the first place. How can you bring that purpose, that focus, back to your everyday working life?
Create a vision for yourself. Not goals, in the traditional sense of wanting to earn X amount by X date or earning your next promotion, but rather a vision of how you want to feel in your work and in the rest of your life. How can you make that vision a reality?
Depending on your vision, you might, for example, start a blog, either within your company or outside it; write for other websites in your field; or get involved on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Start discussions with the thought-leaders in your industry—or, better still, become one.
Whatever your original “why” and your ongoing vision of satisfaction in your work, it is achievable.