I remember the time when I dreaded to go to work. I’d stay in bed for as long as I possibly could before I absolutely HAD to get up and get going. At first, I attributed it to the decreased morale due to the rounds of lay-offs (Great Recession). Then, I attributed it to me facing a steep learning curve at my new position and constantly changing job requirements due to multiple re-organizations. After a couple of months, I faced the cold, hard truth — I didn’t love my job anymore.
The passion was gone. The excitement to see what challenge awaited me had dwindled. Challenges were now nuisances, relegated to the list of things to be “dealt with”.
I hadn’t planned on this. I wasn’t prepared for it.
It brought up a host of other questions.
Did I like finance but not the company I was working for?
Is it perhaps the industry that I don’t like?
Is it that my hours are not as flexible, is that what has caused me to fall “out of love”?
Why couldn’t I be happy that I had a job when so many had lost theirs?
This started a journey of self-discovery for me. One that I am so grateful for.
Flash forward 5 years, and I’m in a much different position. However, there are so many people who wake up and realize, they don’t love their jobs.
A few months back, I met with a friend who happens to be the career center director of a large university, and this very topic came up. The career center was seeing an influx of alumni returning with this very same dilemma. “I don’t love my job! What do I do? Where do I start?”
Here is what helped me on my journey to answering these questions.
Do Some INTENSE Self Analysis
One of the pitfalls of our modern world is that we’re constantly keeping busy. If it’s not busy at work (or in your business), then it’s with family, social engagements, TV, social media, you name it. We rarely take the time to reflect on our experiences, on what we liked and disliked about them. We rarely take time to just enjoy the moment.
And that was definitely true for me. Between my demanding job, my leadership positions in the faith community, the mentoring at the university, and keeping up with friends, I didn’t keep up with myself.
So many of us Keep Up With the Kardashians, but we don’t Keep Up With OURSELVES!
I started by taking as many personality assessments as I could. I invested in a career coach (shout out to Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl). I started reading books. And I started to schedule “me” dates. I would go to a park or drive around for half an hour — and let my brain wander.
If you’re currently out of love with your job, career, or business, I encourage you to do this. Get to know yourself again. People change. Who have you become? What are your passions now? Catch up with yourself. This time of introspection will help you uncover what you ARE passionate about.
You might find out that you truly have fallen out of love and are ready to move on. Or, you might find out that the love is there, and you just need to rekindle the passion.
Rekindle the Passion
If, after this time of introspection, you realize that you still love your career, then you know what to do next! You need to rekindle the passion! It’s just like a relationship. Love is everlasting, but romance needs work. It needs to be tended to every day.
Find out what was it that drew you to this career in the first place. Remind yourself WHY you loved this job. And start searching for things that can make you fall in love with it again. I might be as simple as looking at it from a fresh perspective. Or it might mean infusing something new to make the job feel fresh again.
For me, I realized I had moved on. I had chosen my job because I was good at it and it was practical. I had grown as a person, gotten to know my likes and dislikes, and determined that a break-up was in order. It really was a case of “It’s not you, it’s me.” So I took the next step.
Find a New Love
I went about finding a new love. How? By first identifying what it was that I loved about my current job. I realized that I loved helping and coaching my co-workers. The moments that I enjoyed the most and felt the most accomplished in were those in which I had helped a team work together better, trained an entire site on how to use a new tool, or helped a female colleague confidently step up.
I looked around to find where could I apply these skills. I started by speaking at local university events, and eventually moved into live streaming. That gave me the base to launch my own coaching company.
What about you? Have you fallen out of love with your job?
Perhaps, after some introspection, you’ll realize that you love your job, and will find ways to rekindle the passion.
If, however, you’ve realized it’s time for a change, then embrace it. Change is a natural part of life. How are you going about finding your “new love”?
Share your journey in the comments below!