Balance, Career Advancement

Stuck in a rut? Here’s one way to put the spark back into your work life

Happy Valentine’s Day! Feel like you’re stuck in a rut at work? Try looking at your organization and your job with a fresh perspective and fall back in love.

Photo credit: l'ethan, Creative Commons/Flickr

Photo credit: l’ethan, Creative Commons/Flickr

by Beatriz Mieses, MPA, CPC

From the moment you saw the job posting you knew this job was the one. It was as if the job description was specifically designed to leverage your experiences, strengths, and passion for social change. It also seemed to provide the professional challenges and growth you were craving. You followed your heart and went for it, crafting the perfect cover letter and resume.

Falling in love

Your heart skipped a beat when you received the call for an interview. You ran to the cleaners to clean and press your lucky suit. You showed up 10 minutes early, looking perfect, and had researched the organization thoroughly. After the interview, you left satisfied knowing you got the job. Soon after, you received the offer.

The first day was amazing and so were the weeks and months that followed. You felt stimulated, purposeful, and on track with your career goals. However, time has passed and things no longer feel the same. You are tired, overworked, and under-stimulated. Getting up in the morning is hard. The magic is gone. You just don’t know what to do.

Time for a change

One reason why many of us lose the passion for our work is because we get stuck in a rut. We get bored doing the same tasks day after day. What once was stimulating is now routine. However, you can get back the spark and motivation from the early days by taking on new projects at work that expose you to different elements of your organization. Here’s how:

1.  Identify your organization’s needs.

Take an objective look at your organization to identify needs that are not being met. To do this, talk with people in different departments about the work they do and help they might need or go to your manager and ask about new projects or challenges he or she needs help with. Identify one or two that would be exciting for you to tackle.

2.  Develop an action plan.

After you have chosen the project or projects you want to tackle, develop an action plan. Think about how to handle the issue at hand and identify the key stakeholders and resources that you would need to successfully complete the project.

3.  Get buy in.

Meet with relevant stakeholders to explain your idea and get feedback. Depending on the nature of the project you’d like to do, this might be an ongoing process. Don’t worry! In order to be successful, it’s important to understand how your idea could potentially affect your co-workers. In addition to having the support of your manager, it might also help to work with a senior employee so you can have a better sense of what’s happening across the organization as well as advice on how to execute your project.

4. Be prepared to go the extra mile.

If your project is accepted you’ll likely have to take on extra duties. Spend time thinking about you’ll manage these additional responsibilities.

By seeing your organization in a new way and taking on new challenges, you can reinvent your role and reshape your relationship with your job.

How have you put the spark back into your work life?

Beatriz Mieses-Hernandez Beatriz Mieses is a Certified Professional Coach and non-profit professional with over 12 years of experience in the field. She currently has a coaching business, Welcoming My Beauty, helping women achieve their potential and create an existence that aligns with their Truth. She also serves as the training director for Hot Bread Kitchen a nonprofit that increases economic security for foreign-born and low-income women and men by opening access to the billion dollar specialty food industry. We do this through our culinary workforce and business incubation programs, Project Launch and HBK Incubates.

Beatriz has BA in Psychology from the City University of New York and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University, School of Public Administration.

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