Bored and fed up with your 9-5? Managers driving you crazy? Spend all week wishing your life away until Friday rolls around? In this post I’m going to suggest eight ways that you can begin to love your job again. I’m not promising you’ll look forward to every Monday morning, but I know it’ll be a whole lot more enjoyable than it is now.
Remember why you chose your job in the first place
There must have been something that attracted you to this position. Think back to how you felt when you were told that your application was successful. How were you feeling on your first day in post? Sometimes when we are so familiar with something it becomes boring. Some of the most exciting jobs might be perceived by some as tedious. But take a step back and really focus on the purpose of the role and what function it serves. To others it may look interesting and you need to try to recreate that curiosity in yourself again.
Accept You can’t enjoy everything all of the time
Accept that we all have parts of our jobs that we don’t like e.g. admin tasks, difficult clients, long meetings. Natalie Bacon says that life is 50-50. That is, 50% good and 50% bad. Work is like that too. There’s the days when you love your job; the reason perhaps that you applied for the post in the first place. Then there’s the other bits, that come with every job. Instead of resisting these, just get on with them. See them as a necessary evil. Then you can put your energy into the parts of the job that you love.
remember Managers will be managers
Feel that you already have too much on your plate and yet your manager is trying to give you more to do? Don’t take it personally. Your manager’s job is to give you work. They may have pressure from above. I would recommend that you ‘pick your battles’. Try to be positive and accommodating most of the time. Then when you do put up some resistance they are more likely to take you seriously and listen. No one likes being told what to do, but that’s the nature of being an employee.
Even if you disagree with decisions the manager has made, at the end of the day they are the manager and it takes less energy to accept and just get on with what they are asking. You can waste so much time and energy feeling negative, whereas if you just do what is asked you can forget about it and move on to something more enjoyable. That’s likely to be the ‘deep work’ that you took this position for in the first place.
Try to do a good job
You are likely to feel more positive about work if you get some job satisfaction, which I think comes from seeing a job well done. You are also more likely to get positive feedback from a manager or be selected for a promotion if you are seen to be someone who works hard and takes pride in what they do.
Make friends at work
If you work full time then you are spending the best part of your week with your colleagues – well at least when we all went into an office. Your days are going to be so much more enjoyable when you feel you have a connection with those around you. We can’t all get on with everyone, but I am sure there are some of your colleagues you’d be happy to be friends with.
Take an interest in the lives of your colleagues and if you cooperate with other organisations or companies this can extend to those too. This can make collaboration so much more enjoyable and you can share your day to day lives, good and bad, with those that you are working with. When the opportunity arises, such as lunch or coffee breaks, take some time away from your desk to relax together. Have a look at my post about Tom Corley’s advice on building rich relationships.
Try not to get on the negativity bandwagon
Human beings, or at least a lot of the people that I know and some of whom I work with, have a tendency to focus on the negatives. How often do you bump into someone and their first question is ‘Busy?’. They moan about the manager, then about the company in general. Being in that negative vibe all of the time can be really draining. It’s not easy being the one who challenges the status quo, but there may be others who’ll be glad to hear your positive thoughts. They might have been thinking the same thing, but were reluctant to say so.
Take advantage of workplace benefits
Whether that’s taking all of your paid leave, using the office gym or taking advantage of the bike to work scheme. It’s always worth finding out what’s available at your place of work. We commit a lot of our time and energy to our company and if they reward that in ways other than your salary don’t be afraid to take advantage of that. Check out my post about the benefits of working in the public sector.
Have good work boundaries
I know that this is easier said that done, particularly when many people are working from home. Having set start and finish times and making sure you take a lunch break can prevent you from resenting work, as it doesn’t spill into your home life.
There we are, a few ideas to make your Monday to Friday a little more enjoyable. If you still can’t love your job you could move to a new position, but remember that after the novelty of a new job wears off you may begin to feel the same dissatisfaction as you did in your old job.
Perhaps you might want to think about opting out of work altogether. Why not start planning your ‘Work Optional’ life?
If you want some more ideas about positivity I would suggest checking out this post.
Want to learn more about life coaching and how to design your life? Why not check out ‘Grow You’, Natalie Bacon’s life coaching programme (affiliate link).