AFTER some time, you will find yourself losing interest in your work, either because it has become routinary, there is no growth in what you are doing, or the challenges have become so difficult that you just want to leave everything for a while. While it is normal to feel any of these at work, it does not mean that it is time to leave and look for another job. Sometimes, all you need is to pause and rediscover the passion that once drove you to pursue your current role.
The first thing you should do is to take the time to evaluate the reasons why you wanted to be there in the first place. You need to ask yourself if the reasons for being in your job are still the same reasons why you are doing it now. If the reasons have changed, you need to evaluate what you are willing to let go and what you are willing to retain to achieve your professional and personal goals. Remember that work takes up a third of your life so make sure you are working for all the right reasons.
You also need to distinguish between wanting to leave your job and wanting to leave your boss. Most people lose interest in their job because of a bad boss. If the reason for losing interest is your boss, you might want to try another department that can use someone with your skillset. If the work is still the issue, you need to review your goals and evaluate whether your professional goals ultimately support your personal objectives.
Evaluate what you enjoy doing in your work and do more of it. Sometimes, you do not enjoy your work because you are now in a position where you do less of what you enjoyed before. If there are only a few opportunities to do what you enjoy doing, you might need to volunteer for projects that expose you to more of what you like, or find a passion project for your own personal fulfillment. Loving your work does not always mean focusing all your talents and skills on your work. It means developing your skills to do your work better.
Which leads me to the next point, which is working on your opportunities for improvement. Some people wait for opportunities to develop their skills and will rely heavily on their supervisor to coach them or give them training opportunities. While it is true that there are learning opportunities dependent on your supervisor, there are a lot of available resources to upskill yourself.
Video streaming services, online references, and mentors within the organization can help you professionally develop. Also, if it means spending an hour doing volunteer work in your community to improve your interpersonal skills, then it will also help develop how you deal with different personalities at work. All you need is to discover what is available, and then filter those that target your areas of improvement.
If the work has become routine and predictable, you might need to set new goals. Talk to your supervisor on your professional and personal goals so that they can break the monotony or help you develop new goals. Who knows, they might even give you new opportunities aligned with your personal goals. You can also work with your supervisor to develop ways to improve your team’s processes. This shows that you are committed to your work and tells your manager that you are ready to take in more responsibilities, which in turn could lead to a salary increase or a promotion.
Sometimes, your team might also be the reason why you are losing your love for work. If you feel left out, do not take it against them immediately. It could be that they have limited opportunities to work with you and there is not enough time to develop any professional relationship.
It will also depend on how much you want to connect with others because there are those who excel at working alone. If the team is finding it hard to work with you even after repeated interventions, the problem could be the culture fit. You can talk to your supervisor but if you want to remain with the team, you might have to make a few adjustments.
Personally, I try to maintain good working relations because it is part of my work, but also because I know I will need them sometime in the future. However, I also keep a few work friends because I can destress with them, and we work on helping each other achieve our professional and personal goals. Work friends are your go-to people in the office when you feel stressed and you just want to unload your disappointments. Even if you feel frustrated and tired at work, they somehow make the load easier because you have a sounding board.
You might also need to consider taking a vacation to relax. Your vacation leaves are there for a reason. Maximize the benefits that your company has provided to ensure your work remains at par with expectations. Studies have shown that it is better to have frequent small vacations throughout the year than one long vacation. This is because the work stress is equally dissipated throughout the year, and you get to recharge in sprints. Putting all your rest days in one long vacation tires you out even before your vacation starts, and it becomes harder to go back to work.
Work will always be an important part of who you are because it takes up a significant portion of your life. It should give you a sense of purpose and help you become the best version of yourself. If it no longer makes you happy, it is never too late to find that one job where you do not work for the rest of your life.