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Steps to take if you no longer love your job

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Everyone wants a job they love. I’m sure no one has ever said, “I want to spend 40+ hours of doing work I hate” or “I just want to feel mediocre about my career.” Unfortunately, finding a job that you’re passionate about or maintaining your zeal for a job you once loved isn’t easy. A survey of American workers by Ipsos, a global market research company, found that only 55 percent of U.S. employees say they love their jobs.

If that unhappy employee is a manager or an executive, or you(!) the negative implications could be far reaching. But, it’s not all bad news. If you no longer love your work, there are several steps you can take to help turn your relationship with your job around.

Check your perspective. Every situation can look different, depending on your perspective. So, take a step back and consider how you’re looking at your job. Is your job fulfilling a need or a want? Is it just a job? Is it a career with the goal of advancement? Do you see your job as a calling, where you focus on the sense of fulfillment the work gives you? An article from the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical care, research and education organization, points out that none of these three choices are bad, and most people actually find aspects of all of them to be true in their current work situations. To help revive your job satisfaction, try to remember why you took this job in the first place.

Are you grateful for your job? Have you said “thank you” in your words and deeds to your boss, co-workers, and staff lately? Can you quantify what you contribute in your job? Would you want to hire or work with or for YOU?

Don’t stop learning. Boredom with your normal, day-to-day tasks can quickly drain your passion for work. So make it a goal to always be learning something new. Watch a webinar, read a book or attend a conference. This is also a great precedent to set for your entire department or company. The most successful leaders are those who never stop learning and stay at the forefront of their industry.

Get out of your office. Personal connections are key to maintaining your job satisfaction and ensuring you actually look forward to going into work each day. In a Fox Business article, Jeanette Mulvey recommends making friends with the people you work with. If you’re a supervisor, it can be tricky to maintain the balance of friendship and leadership with your employees. But, you should at least learn what’s going on in their lives and about their goals. This will empower you to help them achieve their dreams, which will fulfill you as a leader.

You also need to stay connected with your customers. Meeting customers’ needs is at the heart of every business; and you can’t stay in tune with those needs if you never interact with them. Make a few phone calls, schedule some client lunch appointments or walk the aisles of your store. Nothing revives passion for a job better than seeing how your work fits into the big picture of serving your customers!

By changing your outlook about work and rekindling that passion you once had for your job, you can love the job you already have. And, the good news is that not only will you be happier at work, you’ll also discover many other benefits to loving your job.

As career advice columnist Curt Rosengren from US News points out, when you love your work you will have more energy, feel more confident, be more committed and find more enjoyment in your life outside of work. Plus, happiness is contagious, so you just might spread your new found love for the job to the rest of your team!

• Terri Greeno owns Express Employment Professionals in Crystal Lake.

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