Being in a job you’re not passionate about sucks – it’s that simple. Getting out of bed in the morning is difficult, time drags, and you’re basically just hanging for the weekend from 9:30am on Monday. And that’s not the worst of it. If it goes on for too long, this lack of passion can seep into every area of your life – relationships, sex life, and overall health.
While of course work is connected with money, study after study has found that it’s not the salary that guarantees job satisfaction and performance. Rather, it’s a sense of meaning and purpose that employees and business owners take from their work that keeps them driven and motivated.
But you don’t need to be feeding starving children in Africa to be passionate about your work. Meaning can come from varied and unexpected places – it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. As is so often the case – it’s all in your head.
These 5 simple tips, inspired by coaching techniques, can help you look at your career in a fresh way, and ignite the passion that can make the workday fly by, every day.
1. Focus on impact
It’s easy to get lost in the minutia of day to day work and lose the forest for the trees. Zooming out and looking at the ultimate impact of your work can remind you what it is that you’re really doing – and why it’s important. For example, something as seemingly dry and devoid of passion like accounting ensures that businesses run smoothly, salaries get paid, and children get fed. And that’s important stuff! Even on a more micro level, making your coworkers days a little bit better or helping your team to feel valued are important contributions to the world.
2. Tap into your energy sources
Chances are, there was a time when you were passionate about your work. Perhaps when it was new, when you were working on an exciting project, or right after a promotion. The simple fact of remembering these moments of passion can reignite that same energy – but you can also consciously use this understanding to make some positive changes. Put your hand up for something new at work, or partner with someone new – taking control of your circumstances is bound to raise your energy levels at work. And when you’re energy levels are higher, you’re going to feel more passionate about everything you do.
3. Practice gratitude
Research has found that a regular gratitude practice can increase happiness and overall wellbeing – and happiness is closely linked with passion. In the context of your career, take a few minutes every morning to focus on three things you’re grateful for – big or small. You could be grateful for the herbal tea in the kitchenette, lunch with a fun colleague, or finishing an annoying task. The act of inclining your mind towards the positive will train you to see the good in your current situation, and once you’re doing that you’ll be in a better state to make the changes you need.
4. Find yourself a mentor
There’s no need to go through this alone! Humans are social creatures – we’re driven by feeling accepted and valued. Finding a mentor who’s been through what you’re going through and can give some perspective and guidance, can lift feelings of isolation and reconnect you with your chosen career. A mentor can be a senior colleague, a former boss, or even a coach – what’s most important is that you respect and admire them, and believe that their advice and guidance can help you.
5. Consider a change
If after trying all the tips on this list, you’re still not at the level of passion you’re looking for at work, maybe it’s just time for a change! That’s totally legit – everything gets stale with time without passion to drive it. But if you’re going to make a change, go big! Small changes are likely to fizzle and leave you right where you started. Make that career change that’s always been sitting in the back of your mind, open the business you’ve been dreaming about, or pivot your existing business. Notice your heartbeat quickening just thinking about it? That’s a sign that there’s something exciting ahead.