We’re told when we’re young to “follow your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
If you regularly suffer from the Sunday Scaries and anticipate Monday morning with dread, you’re not alone. According to the Towers Watson Global Workforce Study, only a third of participants in the study were considered “highly engaged” at work. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed a record 4.5 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in November. Where is the breakdown between work and fulfillment and how can we start enjoying our work again?
There are many factors influencing the record breaking changes as millions of American quit their jobs. Some workers are seeking remote work, others are switching careers entirely or starting their own businesses, and some are following the money, leaving low wage jobs and hoping to raise their income. Sometimes opportunities arise that are well worth taking advantage of. Other times, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Even if you do have a career in a field you’re passionate about, you’ve turned your passion into your work which can dim the spark you once felt.
We’re told when we’re young to “follow your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.” But the reality couldn’t be more different for most of us. We have bills to pay and practicality often has us in positions that may not align with our passions. Even if you do have a career in a field you’re passionate about, you’ve turned your passion into your work which can dim the spark you once felt.
Finding your passion isn’t as simple as it sounds. It can take a lifetime to discover your passions and find ways to integrate them into your career. And sometimes there’s no crossover between the two. Not everything is easily transferred into the workplace. But we know being passionate about what you do can make work more enjoyable and less of a chore so how can we harness this truth and leverage it?
Is there a way to stay in our careers but still discover a fresh sense of enjoyment and fulfillment?
Here are some tips to help find your passion and use it to reignite your career:
Identify Your Priorities
The best way to discover what you’re passionate about is by observing and identifying your priorities. A good place to start is where you spend your money and time. Is there a way to work your priorities into your career? If you love reading, maybe you can grab some of the top books related to your field.
Focus on Your Strengths
What do you excel at? It feels good to be good at something. When your colleagues at work see and appreciate your strengths, you may experience more of the fulfillment you’ve been longing for. Are there ways you can play to your strengths and make them shine at work?
Find What Excites You
Maybe there’s a way to love your job, even if you don’t like it right now. What are the high points of your day? What is something you look forward to at work? It may be something as simple as checking an item off your to-do list. Find ways to do more of what you love.
Shake Things Up
Sometimes we crave change. If you’re feeling bored at work, it may be time to reignite your passions by shaking things up. Even a small change or challenge can breathe new life into a stale work atmosphere. Sign up for continuing education, rearrange your desk, or create a new break time routine.
Make it Work
When you’re looking for perfection, you’ll never stop looking. We often romanticize the idea of quitting and dreaming of greener pastures at our next job. When the honeymoon period wears off, we often find ourselves feeling the familiar feeling of dissatisfaction. Learning to make it work where we are right now can save us the trouble.
Highlight the Positive
Practicing gratefulness is a powerful tool to change our mindset. When you’re constantly focused on the negative aspects of work: bad boss, long days, no overtime pay; you’ll find yourself unhappy. When you choose to focus on the positive: great coworkers, health insurance, financial stability, your attitude towards work will improve.
Stay in the Know
If your career is feeling a little stale, you probably aren’t keeping up with the latest in your field. Business, real estate, technology, medicine – no matter what you do, chances are your field is constantly evolving. Get up to speed on trade publications or sign up for an industry newsletter. Getting plugged in to trends and new, exciting developments may you rediscover (or discover for the first time) your passion.
Look for Flexibility
With remote work on the rise, it may be time to ask to work from home. The flexibility of working from home, without a boss over your shoulder, can be a huge relief. Having more control over your work environment may help you enjoy work more. Moving to a remote position is like getting a whole new job and a lot more freedom.
Be Open to Feedback
Why just survive at work when you can thrive? If you’re ready to grow, improve, and expand your skills, it’s time to ask for feedback. It’s not always easy to hear ways we should improve but if you want to grow where you’re planted, it’s time to reduce your blind spots and rise to new heights.
Is there an opportunity you’ve been eyeing but afraid to commit to? Has your boss offered you new responsibilities but you’re reluctant to step up to the plate? If you want to feel driven, motivated, and energized, it’s time to freshen things up. The next time a new responsibility falls in your lap, look at it as an opportunity to rekindle your passion.
What amount of passion do you feel in your career? Is it high, low, non-existent? Maybe it’s time to reignite the passion.
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