The 9-to-5 grind can be just that–a grind. But you can work on making your job feel fresh and new again.
First, you need to figure out why you are in a mental slump. There are a few signs. If you feel lackluster about work that used to get you going that is a major sign. “The things that used to interest you are just ‘eh’ these days,” points out Christine Clifton, author of “Your Spirit at Work: Bring more of You, through what you Do, so your vision comes True.”
If you find yourself constantly looking to see if it’s time to go home, it’s time to re-engage yourself at work. “Time watching–the most important and biggest sign – happens when you don’t feel engaged with your employer. You turn up to work for the sake of it and you wish the day away and can’t wait until you get home,” notes Richard Harrison, director of UK-based Inovaris Limited, a company that provides innovation and growth training.
If you are feeling just out of it, it’s time to take a look at refreshing your work spirit.. No energy for work, no motivation. “One sign is if you have a feeling of heaviness, isolation, even depression, weighing on you,” says Clifton.
You work and work, but you have a feeling that your work isn’t really making a difference. “You feel you have no real relevance or impact,” says Harrison. “You don’t feel that you can contribute to the business growth. You feel that you turn up, go home, and the company doesn’t really need you there. If you didn’t turn up, nothing would be any different.”
So, how do you get back in the groove with enthusiasm? Maybe you aren’t doing what you are meant to do. “Reconnect to your purpose in your life. Why do you get up in the morning? What are you good at? What are you doing when you lose track of time? What brings you joy? These are signs of your true calling,” suggests Clifton.
Take a look, not just at yourself but the company you work at as well. Maybe it’s not a good fit for you and it could be time to make some changes. “Look at your company’s mission, vision and value statements. See if your purpose is aligned with the company’s,” says Clifton. “Initiate a discussion with your manager about where you see yourself in alignment with the department and company. Share your areas of interest and ask if there is a special project or assignment you could take on that is aligned with you.”
One way to get some spark back into your office life is to stand out. “Get yourself noticed. Talk to people and take interest in their roles. Who are your customers? What do they want? What can you do to make their lives easier? Put yourself in their position–how can you better help others (and yourself)?” says Harrison.
Don’t remain stuck in a rut. Figure out the reason and take action. If you don’t, the dissatisfaction can seep into other parts of your life. “You spend a considerable amount of your conscious life at work. If you don’t enjoy yourself, it’s often natural to bring this mentality home with you; eventually, it will impact your personal and family life,” explains Harrison. “Work doesn’t have to be hard; with the right mindset and organizational culture, you can bring your best assets to work, contribute to the growth of the business, enjoy your working hours, and take a happy and satisfied mentality home with you to boost your personal life, too. Oh, and it would do your career prospects no harm either,” he says.