When many people think about work, they think of it as a necessary evil. They see it as a rat race and something they have to do to make money and survive.
But what if we told you that you could love – or at least like – your job? What if we told you that you could be happy in your career again? It’s possible!
Rich has learned how to embrace work as a tool for living his best life, and you can too!
“Work is a tool to help you get more of what you want out of life. Right now, it’s helping me achieve the major life goal of becoming a competitive track and field athlete after 13+ years off. I never actually thought I’d be doing this again, but things like gym access, healthy food options and other perks have made work worth it. When you see work through this lens, it makes it easier to tolerate the shenanigans regardless of how much you love or hate your job.”Rich Jones
You Don’t Have to Quit Your Day Job to Live Your Best Life
The world is changing. The workplace is changing. People are breaking away from the traditional notion of “work” and seeing it as a tool instead.
Work can be an opportunity to find meaning in what you do, make a difference in and outside of your career, enjoy and learn from others, and make money doing something that fulfills you.
It also provides growth opportunities and, for some, it provides the structure they need.
When you enjoy going to work, everything else in life seems to fall into place a bit better. You don’t feel as bogged down by the stress of your job because you’re engaged in what you do – even on days that suck.
Tips for Reigniting the Spark in Your Career
So how do we get a kick out of our careers again? We’ve come up with a few tips to help you renew your interest in your day job.
1. Reconnect with Your Big (Emotional) Dreams – When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why did you choose that career? What excited you about it?
What did you want to do outside of work? Travel the world? Write a book?
Take some time to reconnect with your dreams and why you wanted to pursue that particular career or interest in the first place.
Oftentimes, we forget our passions and motivations for choosing a specific path. When we’re able to reconnect with them, we feel more fulfilled because we also remember why we do what we do.
2. Play to Your Strengths – If you’re fond of teaching, find a job or opportunity in your organization that allows you to teach more often. If you enjoy technology, use it in your work life every day. Love writing? Then find ways to do more of that.
If we can embrace what we delight in doing and use it in our careers we’re more likely to welcome going to work each day.
3. Up Your Skillset – You may like the company you work for, but not your current job.
Consider taking classes or asking for training that empowers you to take the next step in your career.
If your current employer doesn’t offer training or classes for skill development, ask about reimbursement for taking classes or training externally. Sometimes employers have an “employee development” budget set aside.
When we like what we do, it shows in the quality of our work. We’re more engaged and invested in what we’re doing and the final product we’re creating.
4. Ask for new challenges – New projects keep things interesting and exciting.
When we feel like our job is mundane, it’s easy to fall into the “I hate my job” trap. By asking for more responsibilities or projects that allow us to do something new each day, we can prevent this from happening.
And don’t forget the additional projects and responsibilities come in handy during performance review season!
5. Focus on the Positives – It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives. You don’t appreciate every aspect and work won’t always be fun, but what are some positives about your job?
Is it a great boss that you respect and like working with or maybe an office full of people who are supportive and make you laugh?
Focus on the good things and remember them when things get tough.
6. Look at the Big Picture – Your work gives you so much more than just a paycheck. It provides you with a sense of purpose and provides experience and skills you can use in other areas of life.
Think about all of the positives your day job provides besides health insurance and vacation days, such as opportunities for growth, being part of a team, helping others, and more.
When we remember how much our job contributes to our lives in other ways besides money or “what we have to do,” it becomes easier to enjoy our career again.
We can connect the dots and see that work is a tool that enables us to live our best life.
7. Establish Boundaries – This is key for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy work/life balance. You need to set boundaries so you can have time for your family, hobbies, and other interests outside of work.
If you’re devoted to your job and the people you work with, it’s easy to get so caught up in the excitement of your career that you forget about other parts of life.
This can lead to a lot of stress and even burnout if you don’t make sure you’re taking care of yourself outside work too. So set boundaries!
8. Love Thy Self First – This is probably one of the most important tips we can give. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s going to be difficult to take care of your job or career.
When we’re respecting and loving ourselves, it’s easier to find joy in everything else in life too.
Work can be a tool for living your best life when you embrace what you do and enjoy the people around you while doing it. You can like – and even adore your job again – and it’s only one step away!
We hope these tips help you find some career clarity! If not, it might be time to consider a job change.
But don’t worry, we have plenty of great resources to help you find a career you could love. Embrace the journey and find what’s right for you!
- Listen – 5 Best Career Episodes from the Paychecks & Balances Podcast
- Read – Break the Cycle, 7 Tips to Change Your Relationship with Alcohol
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