When starting a new job, most workers have high hopes that they’ll love the work they do, or at least be able to tolerate it. For many Canadian workers, these hopes become a reality: According to a new CareerBuilder.ca survey, 41 per cent of workers say they like their jobs and 34 per cent can even boast that they love them.
Sometimes, however, even if you started out liking what you do, things can happen along the way – friction with your boss, procedural changes, difficult clients – that can cause you to fall out of love with your job. If that’s happening to you, it doesn’t always mean it’s time to leave.
Here are four tips to learn to love your job again:
1. Get involved.
Sometimes unhappiness stems from detachment – not really feeling like you have a place within the company or that you care what happens to the company beyond what affects you personally. You can change that by getting involved in internal committees or groups within your organisation. Perhaps there’s a team that organises the annual volunteer day, a group that assembles to plan the office’s holiday party or a committee created to promote diversity. By participating in activities outside of your day-to-day duties, you’ll feel more invested in your company, which will ultimately make you happier.
2. Find work-life balance.
One of the biggest causes of workplace unhappiness is feeling overworked and burned out, and unfortunately, it happens at some point to most workers. Nearly 7 in 10 workers (68 per cent) say they sometimes feel burned out in their jobs, and 1 in 10 say they always do. While you can’t always control the workload you have, you can try to find more balance. Try to take a lunch break at least once a week, shut your email off after a certain time each night, and get involved in a non-work activity that you enjoy – whether it’s joining a sports team or organising a book club. If you feel more relaxed every day, and have something to look forward to after hours, it’ll make coming to work each day a little easier.
4. Change teams or projects.
Maybe you like working for your company, you just don’t have a good working relationship with your boss or other members of your team. If that’s the case, see if there are any opportunities to change teams or departments. Check your career site for any internal openings, and talk to HR about the possibility of switching roles within your organisation.
The same goes for what you’re working on – maybe you don’t feel challenged anymore or find what you do monotonous. Ask your manager if there’s a chance to work on a different project or with a different client. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can sometimes be all that you need to feel reinvigorated.
4. Build camaraderie with your co-workers.
Sometimes even a not-so-great job can be made better by enjoying the company of your colleagues. If you’re unhappy at work, the last thing you may want to do is spend more time with your teammates, but by getting to know them better, and building real relationships, you’ll actually start looking forward to coming to work each day to spend time with them.
If you’re unhappy in your job, it may seem like the best thing to do is to find a new one, but by being proactive and making some adjustments to your work and personal life, you may find that your job isn’t so bad after all.