Whether you’ve hit the career ceiling or have simply fallen out of love with your job, Mondays can be filled with dread. While the simple answer may be to find another job, Jon Acuff, author of Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work And Never Get Stuck, says it’s possible to reignite the passion for your work.
If you find you’re dragging yourself out of bed and struggling to hold back tears at your desk, try these five strategies and rediscover your love of Mondays:
Consider whether you’re bringing expectations to the job that aren’t realistic. Acuff recalls a time when he worked at AutoTrader as a senior content designer and was tasked with the job of writing instructions for customers on how to fill out forms to find a car. What he really wanted to do, though, was be a creative writer.
Have a conversation with your manager and lay out expectations on both sides of the table. Perhaps what you want to do is not what the company hired you to do, but together you can find a way to make the job description suit both your and the company’s needs.
“It’s impossible to get stuck in an old place if you keep learning new skills,” says Acuff. He advises thinking about a company as a university where there are a plethora of courses to take and to consider the job as your classroom. “In every job, there’s something you can learn,” he says.
Consider what skills you may be able to improve upon–whether it’s a new technology or professional development (such as how to work with difficult people). Often people fall out of love with their job because they feel that they’ve done everything the job has to offer, says Acoff.
“That’s when you get depressed. You look up at 35 and go, ‘Are the next 30 years going to be like this?’” Signing up for courses or attending professional development conferences are great ways to reignite the passion for your job and add to your skill set.
Have you ever wondered whether the work you’re doing really matters in the real world? Re-establishing a human connection to end users can help you see the value of the work you perform and the impact your job is having on someone else’s life. “So much of what we do these days is push pencils, so that we get kind of numb to real humans,” says Acuff. Connecting to the human behind the company’s mission can help you rediscover your love for your job.
Emotions are infectious. People who hate their jobs tend to spread their negativity while those who enjoy their jobs breed happiness. If you want to develop a more positive attitude about your job, look at who you’re surrounding yourself with and what attitude they’re bringing to the office.
After exhausting these steps, you may find its time for you to jump ship. If the gap between your expectations and the company’s expectations are insurmountable, if you’ve taken every class you’ve been offered and attended every conference and still feel underwhelmed at work, if you’ve checked your attitude and still have to drag yourself out of bed on Monday morning, it may be time to move on.