Updated: Nov 16
Feeling unmotivated and disengaged at work? Losing your drive to perform at your best?
Well, fret not because you’re not alone. A study by Gallup found a whopping 87% of employees across 142 countries are disengaged at work (1) . And if you clicked into this article, you’re likely spinning in a professional rut as well.
Fortunately, recovering our lost devotion to our work is possible. And here we’ll be introducing five proven ways to reignite our passion for our work.
Five Ways To Reignite Our Passion For Work
Having a passion for your work helps sustain motivation and performance. You also reap the sense of accomplishment for completing tasks and achieving goals. However, it’s common for people to feel lost in their careers, even if they used to love what they do. As a result, we show up for work with half-hearted effort and mediocre commitment.
So, let’s dive into how we can get your professional fire up and burning again.
1. Identify the root issue
Oftentimes, we’re afraid to confront what’s putting us in this slump. We’re scared that identifying the root cause requires us to make overwhelming changes that we can’t afford. But without proper analysis of what’s going on, we only waste more time lamenting over it on our Twitter feeds.
Hence, it’s essential to examine what seems to be going wrong at work, or even within ourselves to cultivate impactful change. Identifying the real problem will make tackling the elephant in the room much easier, and you can then start making little changes to yourself or your work environment.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself
Am I losing my passion for what I do? Or am I just tired?
Are there any changes recently in my workplace that I’m struggling with?
Are my tasks not challenging or fulfilling enough?
Are my superiors and colleagues not supportive?”
2. Realign your purpose and role
As our work evolves, we might end up doing tasks that fall out of line with our initial goals and purpose. Hence, the solution is to realign our purpose with our current daily tasks.
It’s helpful to first think about what elements within your current work that you enjoy, and what you hate. Be mindful and keep track of your emotions on what brightens you up and what dulls you down.
And yes, we all have the occasional administrative and “firefighting” work we can’t run away from. Examine if these cases have been occurring more frequently as usual and whether they take up a significant portion of your energy.
Upon reflection, you can then explore how to incorporate more of what resonates with you to bridge the gap between your purpose and your daily work.
3. Connect with your community
We tend to shut ourselves away from people when we’re in the depths of our professional rut. However, doing so only drives us further away from social connection, but also leads us closer to poor mental health.
It’s proven that good social support at work translates to happier employees and increased productivity(2). Therefore, it’s worth making that extra effort to interact with your workplace folks.
Chances are that your colleagues may have gone through what you’re going through right now. They may be able to provide the advice and encouragement you need. Others may even offer you opportunities to develop your talent, by providing projects or assignments that are closer to your values and purpose.
4. Balance challenge and skill
When tasks are too challenging or heavy, we get anxious and stressed. On the other side of the spectrum, work can also become too mundane that we no longer find interest in it.
Hence, the key is to find a balance between challenge and skill. This is also known as "flow" (4), this state of mind is when one can be completely focused and thoroughly enjoy the task assigned. Positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined “flow” to explain that the optimal state of mind is attainable when the challenge is neither too difficult nor too easy.
So, this is where you can get creative by breaking away from your usual ways of doing your job. For instance, you can experiment with your work, think about ways you can improve your organization, or propose new projects. Doing so stimulates proactivity and helps you reignite enthusiasm.
5. Engage in self-care
Sometimes burnout masks itself as lost passion (3). Even if you love your work to the moon and back, you’re still vulnerable to the physical and mental effects of stress. More so, prolonged stress is infamous for weakening your immune system and increasing mental breakdowns.
That’s why self-care is essential for preserving our mental health and our passion for work. Even the most successful people swear by regular vacations and time away from their jobs.
With that said, reigniting passion may mean pausing to smell the roses and to take our minds off work. This means that sometimes the most straightforward solution is to get plenty of rest to recharge yourself.
While passion isn’t a necessary criterion for a job, it can certainly boost one’s enjoyment and overall resilience. Employees who are passionate also derive a stronger sense of well-being that translates to increased productivity. On the other hand, companies can assist their employees in polishing their professional gears too. It is no doubt that both employees and employers will benefit exponentially from cultivating a passionate and thriving work environment!
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