With unemployment rates still high in many parts of the country, individuals who have good jobs don’t get much sympathy when they lament about being tired of working, bored with what they do, or frustrated with workplace conditions. If you’ve been in your position long enough for the honeymoon to feel like it’s over, you may indeed be feeling tired, bored, or frustrated. And you may also feel stuck, given that jobs are scarce in today’s economy, even in the usually resilient field of healthcare. What can you do to re-engage with work, to fall in love with your job again? Here are a few possibilities to consider.
First of all, put work in perspective. Your job is probably a significant part of your life, especially if you work full-time, but it’s not your whole life. If you can maintain a reasonable degree of work-life balance, you’ll be more likely to enjoy time spent in the office. For example, if you have something to look forward to after work several days a week (e.g., meeting a friend for a walk, taking an energizing exercise class at the gym, cooking a special meal for your family, or going to your book club meeting), you may find that your hours in the office go by more quickly and that you are more relaxed throughout the day.
If you’re bored with work (and maybe even a little bored with life in general), the solution might be to seek out a new, thoroughly engaging hobby as a way to achieve a sense of balance. Set a goal so that you’ll have something unrelated to work to focus your attention on. Train for a 10K walk or run, learn a new language in preparation for a vacation abroad, learn to quilt or knit and tackle a big project, or embark on a long-put-off home improvement project.
Another way to re-engage with work is to learn something new. Look for a continuing education opportunity related to your professional field, or enroll in an advanced skills training course. If you never got around to completing your undergraduate or graduate degree, get moving on that. Not only will new learning and education help you stay intellectually stimulated now, it might also help you land a better job in the future.
At work, make an effort to be the person known for having a positive point of view. This isn’t to suggest that you show up at the office tomorrow flaunting an inauthentic Pollyanna attitude. But simply learning to take challenges and setbacks in stride can go a long way toward not only making your hours at work more pleasant, but maintaining an upbeat attitude also has the potential to be contagious and improve the overall mood around the office.
If you like where you work but you’re bored to tears with what you spend your days doing, inquire about the possibility of cross-training or even being permanently transferred to another department. Learning new skills and working on different tasks with different people may be all that you need to fall in love with your job all over again.