‘Tis the season of love. But has your relationship with your work been stuck in a rut? Do you dread Mondays? Do you groan when you look at your emails? Are you always working for the weekend? If so, let me show you five ways to rekindle your passion at work.
Like with people, many fall in and out of love with their jobs. We start in that honeymoon phase, but as the novelty wears off and the responsibilities grow, we can begin to go through the motions and see only the negatives.
If you feel this way, you’re not alone. A 2015 Gallup poll found that only 32 percent of us are engaged at work. That means our relationship with our jobs needs some work.
So, this Valentine’s Day, try one or all of these five ways to rekindle your passion at work:
1. Go outside your comfort zone.
People get bored with their work once they’ve mastered it. As human beings, we need to be challenged. We need excitement to energize ourselves. So, take on a new responsibility, like a project outside your usual scope or learn a new skill. I’ve also found that working with new people and attending conferences can kick my enthusiasm up several notches.
2. Make a small change.
Routines are great, but they also feed the boredom I’ve mentioned before. Good news is, even the smallest change can refresh our outlooks on our jobs. Cleaning out or redecorating your workspace can reinvigorate. So, can taking a new route to work or altering your schedule (ask if you can work 8 to 4 instead of 9 to 5 so you can hit the gym after instead of before).
3. Think back to that honeymoon phase.
What attracted you to this job in the first place? Get out that job description (and your impressive resume) and reflect on the positives, including how much you’ve grown. Doing this may also illuminate some forgotten dreams or goals, too. Was part of the reason why you wanted this job to travel more or less, take advantage of benefits like paid graduate school, or even to try a new hobby? Do you still need to do this?
4. Realize what you can fix.
A lot of why we aren’t engaged with work is because we’re frustrated. Write down what’s bugging you and then mark what you can change. If you don’t like the typical review process of a project, suggest an alternate solution. If your schedule is too unpredictable, set boundaries with your superior. Some things may be out of our control, but some things may just need you to speak up.
6. Have a wandering eye.
Sometimes all it takes to appreciate what we have is to think about losing it. So look at other job opportunities. Recruiters exclusively use LinkedIn today, beef up your profile and respond to a few requests. Even go on an interview, and focus on how you’re feeling. Will you miss the people or the work? Or are you filled with excitement about the change? If you’re incredibly excited, then it might be time to try something new.
Like most relationships, our relationship with our jobs needs constant attention and work. We can take it for granted. So, try one or all of these things this Valentine’s Day and see if you might be able to rekindle that passion at work.
A version of this post was first published on Inc.