Published on February 14, 2018
We've got through cold and grotty January, and yet the winter still seems to drag on endlessly.
Do you find yourself counting the days and minutes until each Friday? And feel disengaged and unmotivated too?
If you're not feeling the love at work, then you're not alone. New research shows that almost half of UK workers are unhappy at their job, while 30 per cent of front-line employees never feel enthusiastic about work.
Valentine's Day firmly marks February as the month for igniting love and passion. And it's not just passion within interpersonal relationships that is important, but also passion in our careers. Passion in the workplace not only leads to higher levels of personal well-being, but leads to enhanced levels of productivity and growth too.
"Passionate workers are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance. In today's rapidly changing business environment, companies need passionate workers because such workers can drive extreme and sustained performance improvement-more than the one-time performance "bump" that follows a bonus or the implementation of a worker engagement initiative. These workers have both personal resilience and an orientation toward learning and improvement that helps organizations develop the resilience needed to withstand and grow stronger from continuous market challenges and disruptions." Deloitte Center for the Edge
So, if you're feeling less than ardent about your job, it's probably time to reenergise your work life, reignite your passion and love what you do.
But how? We have 5 simple steps that could just help.
1) Remember your first love.
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs
Think back to your first day in your job… what was it that you were excited about and that had made you really want that role? And think about your job now… is anything you are now doing that relates to that thing that made you so excited? If so, can you do more of it? If not, can you change something so that you can try and regain some of those feelings again? Maybe take on a new challenge, work towards a big goal? Or strengthen your leadership skills or mentor someone else?
2) Be curious.
Learn something new.
"Those who dedicate themselves to learning and who exhibit curiosity are almost always happier and more socially and professionally engaging than those who don't." John Coleman, coauthor of the book, Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders.
The benefits of learning are numerous. As humans we are endowed with the capacity for learning. And using this capacity is fulfilling… think about a time when you worked as a team with friends or colleagues to master a tricky challenge or to create something new - those experiences can be exhilarating. We are fortunate enough to live in an age of abundant opportunity for learning and development. Learning something new uses our brains in different ways and engages our senses in a way that can powerfully motivate us. And you don't even have to go as far as learning a whole new skillset or language - it could be something as quick and simple as how to use keyboard short cuts to speed up tasks, or how to do that fiddly formula in excel that you're forever always asking your colleague to do for you. And it's so satisfying being able to put those new learnings into use.
3) Challenge the norm
"Beware of monotony; it's the mother of all deadly sins." Edith Wharton
Monotony is boring. Fact.
But we often fall into work routines without knowing how or why. Are we working in the most efficient and effective way? Or are we simply doing what we are doing, because that's the way it's always been done? Review the status quo. Climb out of the rut and challenge how things are done. Shake things up a bit. Consider doing things differently - whether it's the route or mode of transport that you take to get to work, or even how you do things at work. Taking stock and making changes will give you a new perspective and a new energy.
4) Rest and refresh
After all this reinvigoration, we need to remember to rest and recharge. Whilst it might seem counterintuitive, resting the mind and body is an essential component of working well. Our always-on work culture can easily encroach into our personal time and I'm sure we are all guilty of, at some time or another, checking our emails the minute we wake up and even whilst we're on holiday. Even household chores can get in the way of us fully switching off. To fully recharge and be ready to engage at work, make sure you take one complete day off each week. This means no email and definitely no ironing.
5) Practice self-love
We all have an individual set of abilities and strengths and it's because of these that you do the role that you do for the organisation that you do it in. You bring value to your organisation because of these abilities and strengths and you were selected for your role because of your past success and experience. It's very easy to lose sight of this, especially when we are lacking in motivation, and so it's important to remember to review how you are currently adding value to your organisation, or to your clients. Make a date with yourself at the end of every week to acknowledge the successes of the week, versus the mistakes or mishaps. Sometimes it seems easier to see what went wrong, rather than what went right. But don't be afraid to admit to your strengths and reflect on them. Listen to what your colleagues compliment you on as they are an indictor of your strengths too. Now is not the time to be modest. And once you recognise your strengths, reconnect with them and feel the passion for your work return.
Disengagement and a lack of passion for our work are indicators that it's time to make a change. So, make the decision not to tolerate a dull and disengaged work life, and instead, take steps to reignite your passion!