6 Ways to Fall Back In Love With Your Job

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Close your eyes. Flashback to your first day of your job. It was an exciting time in your career. There were endless opportunities in front of you, so you made a commitment to stand out, to make a difference, and to really crush this new job. Slowly but surely, however, obstacles kicked in that you didn’t expect, or maybe your boss wasn’t as friendly as you had hoped. That optimistic attitude you started with suddenly isn’t so positive anymore.

Man Holding a Heart

If you have found yourself in a situation where work now seems like a chore, you’re not alone.

Most people who find themselves in this situation see two options:

  1. Suck it up.
  2. Quit and find a new job.

While both of these strategies might work for some people, each of them falls short in some area.

Sucking it up can teach you valuable skills like grit and patience, but it can also send you deeper into your frustration. And while quitting might have a strong appeal (we all love a great quitting story), it’s exercised far too often and not for the right reasons.

There’s a time and a place for throwing in the towel, but that time might not be now.

So rather than stick to these obvious choices, let me suggest a third idea: fall back in love with your current job.

Instead of giving up on the job you once loved or “sucking it up”, I believe there are still ways you can ignite that passion you once had.

While this strategy isn’t easy and will require you to search internally, it can yield much better results.

So, here are 6 of the best ways to fall back in love with a job that you hate:

1. Answer the question: Why?

When you get beat down at work and are frustrated with your job, it’s easy to forget why you got that job in the first place.

As a coach, I believe that everything we do is meant to positively serve us in some way.

Even if you can’t remember right now, you got that job for a reason.

Maybe it was for more money, perhaps you followed a spouse to a new city, or you simply wanted to expand your skill set. Either way, there was a specific reason you got that job.

This reason is called your why. Your “why”, as described by Simon Sinek in the book Start With Why, argues that it doens’t matter what work we do or how we do it, but rather why we do it that matters.

Very few people can articulate this, but it’s a crucial part to falling back in love with your job. While most people think their why is about making money, money is simply a result of your why. Your why is bigger than money.

You may be working to put yourself through school, or you may be supporting a family. Regardless of your job, your why is what inspires you to get out of bed and take the actions that will ultimately bring you that fulfillment.

Get crystal clear on your why and the how or what will become a bit less important.

I use a similar framework as Simon Sinek called Your Definition of Success. If you don’t know what’s important to you, you can easily wind up succeeding at the wrong thing in life and end up being miserable. You can download this free ebook here along with 4 other tools to help you in your career.

2. Do what you did in the beginning of the relationship

It’s easy to forget the habits and mindset we had when we first started our job. As the new kid on the block, we wanted to impress the boss and make our name known in a new company. But as time went on, we forgot those crucial habits that got us recognition.

Tony Robbins says,

Do what you did in the beginning of the relationship and there won’t be an end.”

Think about it: You left cute notes for your partner, you happily took out the trash without being asked, and you didn’t even care when they did something embarrassing in public. You would do anything to win their affection.

Then what tends to happen? You rarely show silly affection and taking out the trash has now become an epic battle. It’s no longer new and exciting. But imagine if you had continued that loving behavior, you would still be swooning for each other.

Same goes for your job. If you start doing what you did when you first started, it could bring a whole new life to your job. So rather than step back, choose to dive in.

3. Stop focusing on what you get, and start focusing on what you give

One of the biggest mental roadblocks a lot of people have when they hate their job is the belief that they are owed a great job or a great career.

They look at everything work gives them: benefits, salary, vacation, etc.

When you focus only on what your work offers you, it can make you hyper aware of what you don’t like about it, leading to chronic unhappiness.

To break this pattern, reshift your focus to what you are giving, rather than what you are receiving. Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, calls this the Craftsman Mindset. This mindset is about focusing on what you produce and continually getting better and better at honing your craft.

As you develop your craft, according to Newport, passion will follow. It’s never the other way around.

4. Find new ways to do the same job

Contradictory to the first suggestion, sometimes it’s not always about your why. Sometimes it is about how you are doing a job that makes you hate it.

If you work in accounting and hate balance sheets (like I do), it wouldn’t matter what your why was. But rather than just quit, what if you could find a way to change how you did your job while still advancing your career?

While you may not be punching numbers into a spreadsheet, you can still apply this same philosophy to your work.

If you hate your job, find a new way to do the same work. Maybe instead of sitting in front of a computer all day, spend more time in front of clients.

We are creatures of habit so changing how you work can really help break those monotonous patterns and create variety in your work, which could potentially lead to new opportunities.

5. Develop new relationships

The quality of our life depends heavily on the quality of our relationships. And when we spend over a third of our time on this earth at work, those relationships matter.

If you find yourself in a rut, maybe developing a new relationship or tapping into a new network within your company could help break you out.

How about taking a break from staring at the computer and mingle with coworkers in the break room? If you work remotely, call up someone for advice or to check-in regularly. Ask some coworkers out for happy hour after work. It can lighten up the mood and help build deeper trust and relationships, especially if it’s an unfamiliar colleague.

Your job and work can become more rewarding and less stressful with improved relationships with your coworkers.

6. Stop complaining

If you hate your job, perhaps the only thing getting you through the day is complaining about your job with your co-workers.

If you’re serious about changing, stop complaining. It’s doing more harm than good.

It’s like if I told you not to think about the color yellow. What color are you thinking of?

Yellow.

That’s what complaining does, although you don’t want to think about the negative stuff, complaining make you focus on it even more – leading you down a path of destruction. (For more on this see my article Consuming Negativity, Consumes Us)

If you find that you can’t stop complaining, check out The No Complaining Rule by Jon Gordon. It’s a great story with an even more powerful strategy on how to stop this negative habit.

Try It Out

Falling back in your job won’t be easy, but it could be worth it. Although it’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy, it could help you get back to the work you once loved. Before you jump right away to quitting or giving up on your job, apply these strategies and see what happens. You might just fall in love all over again.

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