As an executive coach, I meet many people who are in a profession, and it was profession they were excited about originally back in the early days, and somehow along the way they lost their spark, lost their passion, lost their drive. If their job was a lover, then they have fallen suddenly out of love with their work. They get up dreading work and the joy has just been sucked out of the job. The question is, how do you find the passion again? How do you relight the fire? Here are some tips to help relight the fire at work.
- Ask yourself why did you start doing this in the first place? Do you remember why you fell in love the work to begin with? What was it? Why did you choose this profession? Was it the excitement? What did you love about it? Why? How to relight the fire: Take some time and be honest with yourself and write down answers to all those questions to help you remember where your original spark came from and maybe reconnect with the original feeling.
- Ask yourself what is it that has changed? Sometimes people start out as the person doing the work they love on the front lines, and they are good at it and then they get promoted and are then only managing the work, not doing it. What has changed about the work? Has your role changed? Have parts of the work changed and how has it changed? How to relight the fire: When you figure what has changed it may explain why your feelings have changed. Maybe you have left the aspects of work you loved most. What has changed? What has changed about the company?
- Figure out the elements about your job that you love. Maybe you have lost some of the fire, the spark, but here is the big question: What are the parts of the job you still love? I am sure there are some. How to relight the fire: Make a list of all the things you really love doing, the things that spin your wheels. Obviously, then the idea is to do those more and what you don’t like doing it much less. Maybe the balance between what you love doing and what you don’t love doing has gotten out of whack. Take the other tasks and delegate them if you can. It may also be possible to change jobs and stay at the same company but take on a new role. Is that possible?
- Is it the work or where you are doing the work? Is it possible maybe you would still love the work if you did it another company? Is it possible you would love the work if you worked with another boss? Is it possible you would love it more in another department? How to relight the fire: Time to do some serious soul searching and ask yourself those two very important questions. What is true for you?
- Are you just getting burnt out? Maybe you still love the work, but you are just working too much, too many hours, and are too burnt out. When we are burnt out, we tend to lose our sense of joy in the work. How to relight the fire: Schedule some well-deserved time off and don’t think about work for a few weeks. When you come back see how you feel about it. If you still don’t feel the joy in the work, then that is a sign.
- Find a trusted advisor. When you lose your spark, sometimes you also lose your perspective and maybe even good judgement. How to relight the fire: Seek out a mentor inside the organization who you trust and talk with them about it. Maybe get a few perspectives from a few different people. Just be careful with insiders who may give advice based in their own agenda or needs not yours. Another approach you could take is to hire an outside life coach or an executive coach. An outside coach has something special to offer: perspective and objectivity. They also do not have a hidden agenda their only interest is in helping you succeed.
- Remember it is your life after all. Many people I meet say “Well I am unhappy but what choice do I have?” I say you always have choices; this is your life and there are always choices and things you can do to make changes. Don’t settle for being unhappy and without joy. How to relight the fire: Read back through this article and determine what action you need to take. Life is too short to not have joy in your life at work and at home.