If you find your passion for your work is dwindling, start by taking the time to assess what’s changed. Then, come up with a game plan for how to bring back some of that spark.
Q: I’m starting to feel less engaged in my work. It’s not that I’m slacking off and I’m not ready to leave my organization, but how can I get back some of the passion I used to have for my work?”
A:Good for being proactive—Other people might be quick to quit and move on.
To start, ask yourself: Has there been a significant change in my job, my reporting relationship, or my team?
Take some time to analyze your situation, and then think about how you can change things.
The answers to these questions may give you just what you need. For example, did your close friend at work recently resign and now you don’t have a friend to go to lunch with? Did the person who hired you recently get promoted and now you don’t have the same relationship with your new manager? Perhaps some work has shifted, and you’re not as busy as you once were.
Take some time to analyze your situation, and then think about how you can change things, or if they can’t be changed—like your supervisor—strategically plan what you can impact.
Here are some actions you can consider:
Sign up for a class, enroll in a certificate program, or start that advanced degree you’ve always wanted to get. Expanding your knowledge base and learning something new may spark something in you.
Volunteer for task forces to meet new people in your organization and contribute something new.
Offer to take on a problem-solving challenge that no one has had time to tackle. You will have some fun and be a hero.
Search out a mentor from a different department. Ask your mentor to share their love of their work and that may introduce you to parts of your organization you’ve never experienced.
Be honest with your manager about what you’re feeling with the intent of seeing what options might be open to you for a transfer or new projects. However, tread lightly with this strategy so that you don’t burn any bridges with your current manager.
Share your feelings with trusted colleagues to see if there may be some cross-functional projects you could take on.
Take good care of yourself. Eat healthy meals and exercise. Keep hydrated during the workday. Take frequent breaks and get outside, if at all possible, during your workday.
Give yourself a time limit to try some of these ideas. If you’re still not enjoying your work at the end of that timeframe, it may be time to look for another position.
Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook, The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, and her latest The Decisive Manager. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer? Send it to email@example.com.