How to fall back in love with your work

Do you remember how great it felt when you first began your job?

The sense of pride and accomplishment at being chosen for a whole new challenge?

Do you still feel the same sense of passion for your job as you did in those first few months?

If the answer is no, then you’re not alone.

It’s really common for people to fall out of love with their work.  The enormous challenges and pressures of a senior leadership role can lead to stress, burnout and a feeling of constantly fighting against the tide. You may feel like you’ve lost your focus, your positivity, and have very little energy.

It’s not always that we need to do more, but rather that we need to focus on less. Nathan W Morris Click To Tweet

The good news is that when you lose that passion that you used to have for your job, the answer isn’t always that you need a new job. In my role as an executive coach, I’ve helped many senior leaders rediscover their passion for their existing role.

Read on for my top tips to fall back in love with your work.

Where are you now?

This is one of the activities on my checklist: How to be a great leader: 10 steps to improve your performance at work.

Improve your performance as a leader

It’s impossible to change anything in your work without knowing what’s already going on!

Start by taking an inventory of your personal and professional life. Note what’s working and what’s not going so well.

Once you understand your situation as it currently stands, you can start to think about where you want to go.

Remember your ‘why’

Think back to the time when you were applying for your role, and how you felt when you were offered the position. What made you apply for the role, and why did you want it?

Consider how this fits with your own purpose and values, and what makes you tick.

Remembering how the role appealed to your purpose and values in the first place can help you understand what you loved about the role in the beginning.

Understand and live by your values

Values act as a compass that influence your attitude and behaviour, and affect the way you react to situations and interact with others. Start to look at what’s important to you by completing a Personal Values Assessment.

When you know your values, it’s easier to feel motivated and focus your efforts on what matters to you.

Identify and utilise your strengths

Everyone has their own individual strengths but few people know what theirs are. Take some time to reflect on what activities you are naturally drawn to, what energises you, and what activities you’re engaged in when the time flies by. These will be signs of your strengths.

When you know your strengths, you can focus on what you’re good at, which will increase your energy and motivation at work.

 

Establish what is going well

These are the tasks that you enjoy doing or are getting you results that make you feel good.  Often this is because they play to your strengths or match with your core values.

From the list of what’s going well, identify a few tasks that always make you smile. These are the tasks that you love to do and are passionate about. They make you remember why you wanted your job in the first place.

Where possible, prioritise these tasks and make sure you do plenty of them. By concentrating on these kinds of tasks you’re continually fuelling your passion for your job.

Establish what’s not going so well

These could be tasks that drain you of energy and you simply don’t enjoy doing. They’re the tasks that – to borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo – don’t ‘spark joy’ at the thought of doing them.

From your list of what’s not working well, ask these questions:

  • Can you develop your skill around it? If it’s a task that you need to develop skills in, look at how high a priority it is. For the high priority tasks put a development plan in place to become confident with the task. Learning or developing a new leadership skill can help reignite your passion for work, and helps stop boredom setting in.
  • Can you delegate? Is there a task you do that could be delegated to a team member? Would it help them with their development? Chances are they will enjoy the task more than you do. Plus, you can free up time to do more of the things you enjoy.
  • Is it even necessary to complete? You’d be surprised how often lengthy, detailed reports are filled in simply because ‘we’ve always done them.’ Yet often, nobody is using them. Don’t assume that because you always do a task, that it is actually necessary.
  • Can you reduce the task? Perhaps there’s a daily report being sent that you could condense into a weekly one? Or two regular meetings that you could bring together into one meeting?

This exercise should free up time to concentrate on the things you enjoy the most.

 Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. Margaret J Wheatley #leadership Click To Tweet

Celebrate your achievements

Make time to reflect on all the things you’ve already achieved.  By setting aside time each day, or each week, to think about what you have achieved you can help balance out the feeling of overwhelm from all the ‘stuff’ you still have left to do.

When you’re under pressure it’s easy to jump from one task to the next, constantly trying to shift work from your desk and clear your emails. Pause and take a breath while you celebrate what you have done instead of stressing about what you haven’t done yet.

Actively looking for the positives can help you shift your mindset and experience gratitude for your achievements.

For more tips on gratitude and 9 more ideas for how to be a more effective leader, download my free checklist today.

Improve your performance as a leader

How executive coaching can help

As an executive coach I help senior leaders stay true to themselves and reignite their passion for their role. By focusing on their values and strengths I help them fall back in love with their work.

Are you ready to do more of what you love without sacrificing results? Get in touch with me today to learn more about how executive coaching can help you achieve the results that matter to you.

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