We fall in – and out – of love with our jobs all the time. Though we rarely think of it that way.
Remember the butterflies of excitement you had on your first day? You loved those weekly staff meetings, adored your training, and couldn’t wait to chat with new co-workers on coffee breaks.
It was when the honeymoon period ended that things changed. You started thinking “Really, this all over again?” when you woke up. Small irritations turned into large ones, and you started getting coffee at a different time to avoid Dave in Accounting.
Before you hand in your resignation letter, take a moment to realise that quitting isn’t your only option. It’s not possible to always love your job, but you can love the idea of working at it, and you can love different aspects of it.
Here are 14 ways to love your job all over again and recreate that spark you felt on your first day.
1. Determine whether you want to leave your job or your boss
You might not want to leave your job, you may just want to leave your boss. One study found that 50 percent of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”
If you find yourself in this situation, but still really enjoy the company you work for, you may want to entertain the option of switching departments. Give yourself opportunities to work with other teams and see if it’s your manager or it’s the job you don’t like before you hand in your resignation.
Small changes can make a significant impact in helping you love your job again.
2. Learn something new
If you have been doing the same tasks for the past 5 years, it is very possible you are simply bored and uninspired. Challenge yourself by learning something new and exciting.
Offer to help out a different department. Volunteer to take on new responsibilities. Go on a course to advance your skills. Attend professional development seminars. Whatever you do, make sure it is interesting to you. It will help you look at your role in a new light.
Boredom will never help you love your job, but being excited about something new will.
3. Ask for what you want
Instead of waiting for your exit interview to mention all the things you wish you had been offered – ask for them! Your manager is probably not a mind reader, and they cannot provide you with what they didn’t know you were interested in.
Speak out about your goals and make your case for change so you can love your job again. Ask to be put in charge of a project. Talk about your dream role. If you are looking for a flexible schedule or salary increase, ask for that too. Have these conversations first instead of assuming your only option is to quit.
4. Set new goals
Goals are the benchmarks you review your career progression against. Without them, we often feel directionless and unmotivated.
If you find that you are currently working without clear goals, it’s time to change that. Goals help you drive your career forward. They can be the exact change you need to love your job.
5. Change up your workspace
You work in your space for an average of 40 hours a week. Working in an environment that never visually changes can become monotonous and has the potential to drive anyone a little crazy.
If you haven’t changed your environment in years, it’s no wonder you don’t love your job anymore. Let’s change it up. Move the furniture around, bring in some plants, change up the wall art. A small visual change can bring excitement back into your day.
6. Change what you can control
Be positive whenever possible. This doesn’t mean you have to plaster a smile on your face every moment of the day. But don’t let small frustrations cloud over all the good in your job.
Instead, do things like thanking people when they assist you. Recognise hard work accomplished by your colleagues. Get into a more positive mindset by listing one awesome thing that happens every day, no matter how small. Refuse to give co-workers’ power over your emotions.
Want to love your job? Start by cultivating a positive attitude when working.
7. Realise the impact you have on those around you
Instead of focusing on your immediate team, think about the broader impact your job has. Take it a step further and focus on the positive effect it has on others.
In a study of hospital cleaners, those who saw their role as helping patients had a better experience at the hospital and felt a greater satisfaction in their roles. Broaden your perspective, appreciate your own worth, and then love your job again.
8. Stop complaining and change your perspective
If you are going to give yourself an attitude adjustment, make sure you stop being part of the Complain Club.
Let the rest of the club members know that they are no longer welcome to have negative work conversations with you. If you must speak about work, only talk about positive things. Only help co-workers with work-related problems that are task-based, instead of emotional inter-personal issues.
It is impossible to love your job if you, and those around you, keep complaining about how awful it is.
9. Take a vacation
Burnout is a real thing, and it will infiltrate every aspect of your life unless you pay attention and take breaks when you need them.
Use your vacation or take a personal day. If you don’t have the opportunity for either, even a Saturday morning at your favourite coffee shop can work. Completely disconnect and give yourself time to think about something other than work. Relax and unwind.
You can never love your job if you are wound to breaking point every day.
10. Take advantage of all your benefits
Are you taking advantage of the health benefits your company offers? Do you even know what they offer?
Compensation is more than just your salary, it is all the perks and benefits that come with it. Reach out to your HR team to find out what is available to you. Take advantage of those little-known benefits, and your work will start to look like an additional resource contributing to your overall life goals.
Plus it’s hard not to love your job when you know what else it affords you.
11. Start a side hustle
Side projects are the perfect opportunity to learn and expand your skills.
You may find that what you learn enhances your current role and takes you in a direction that, previously, would have been unavailable to you. Or you may find that your side project grows into your next career.
By keeping you busy and challenged, side projects can benefit you and your company. They can even help you love your job more.
12. Delegate to do more of what you love
None of us loves 100% of the tasks we do on a daily basis. If you have the opportunity to delegate, you should. Especially if it allows other employees to grow and expand their skills.
But delegate responsibly! Don’t just throw your unloved tasks on others, make sure there is inherent value in your choice.
13. Dress with pride
Just as you did in your first week of work, dress to impress.
A number of recent studies suggest that dressing up for work raises your confidence level, affects how others perceive you, and can boost your attention span. Another study shows that casual dressers sweat the small stuff more than those dressed more formally, and affects how they view their job.
Know that what you wear matters. It can actually help you love your job again.
14. Have a conversation with a co-worker you don’t know very well
There are people at work we know incredibly well, and then there are the people we know nearly nothing about. Change that.
Make a coffee date with a co-worker you interact with often but don’t really know. Or reach out to a manager in a department you want or work in. Go as far as to have a virtual lunch with a co-worker while they have dinner in another part of the world. Aim to walk out of these conversations knowing more than that they love colourful socks.
The point is to get to know someone new. You never know what you will discover. These conversations may help you love your job in a new way.
No chance you’ll love your job all over again?
If you have tried everything and you’re still not in love with your job, it might be time to look elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to make a change when necessary.
If you are thinking about changing jobs, our recruiters would love to assist you. Search our job listings for roles that are relevant to your experience and will help you love your job. Connect with one of us today!