Keeping The Passion In The Workplace
I’ve seen and read hundreds of articles for keeping the passion in the bedroom, but what about in the workplace? Most people take a job because they’re passionate about the job, about the industry, or about the company. You don’t necessarily have to have passion for what you’re doing, but if you don’t you may want to rethink your career choice. So, you have this passion to help people, to organize, to sell, to make money, to work with your hands…whatever the passion is that drives you to excel in your job and continue growing within the company and/or industry. But, what happens if after a while you begin to lose that passion? What if the job starts to become mundane, or you get irritated with the same daily routine, or maybe you just can’t stand to even go into the office without feeling irritated or aggravated? It happens to the best of us.
Usually, the main reason for this loss of passion, or burn out, is due to the lack of balance in your life between your job and your family, hobbies, and whatever you enjoy doing. The second largest reason for burnout is the commute most employees are subject to – overcrowded freeways, accidents, long periods of time in the car, high stress levels from driving. This happens to floor-level employees all the way up to owners and CEOs of companies. It doesn’t matter where you fit in at the company, you can suffer from burn out and lose your passion for something you once loved doing.
The big question is: How do I get that passion back? Well, this is different for everyone, but here are a few suggestions to try.
Take some time off.
Have you used your vacation time for an actual vacation? If you’re like me, most likely not. I usually use my vacation time on stuff for my kids…school stuff, custody or child support court, plays or activities my kids are involved in, etc. Yes, a company is required by law to allow a parent X amount of hours per year to attend your kids’ school-related activities, but I’ve found that it’s never enough time…especially with 5 kids! With that said, take some time off and plan an actual vacation (even if it’s a staycation). Get out of your house with your family or some friends and decompress and relax. Don’t worry about work…it’ll still be there when you get back…and just let go (preferably of electronics, too) for a few days.
Quit working so many hours.
Workaholics tend to burn out faster than others because they spend so much time at work. I understand that there are some jobs that require a person to work more than the standard 40 hours a week, but limit this when and where you can. Talk with your supervisor and let her know that you really need a better work-life balance to keep your sanity. Most of the time they’ll understand. But, make sure you bring a strong case. If you’re working 40 hours a week they likely won’t understand because that’s the standard work week for everyone. But, if you’re working 50+ hours/week you have a better case.
Many companies these days are doing a great job of working with employees on telecommuting options. Suggest working from home just one day a week, if you’re able to do your work from home, and see how it goes. If you do well (meaning you still get your work done and are able to attend conference calls uninterrupted from home), then you may be able to ask for an additional day occasionally, taking a little more of the load off of you.
Work flexible hours.
Ask your company about working flexible hours. This can include telecommuting, working longer hours 4 days a week and having an extra day off each (or even every other) week, or scaling back your hours based on your personal needs.
Commit time to your family.
If you aren’t spending enough time with your family, then commit to spending time with them. You don’t have to go out and spe
nd money (which can be stressful in and of itself if you have a large family). Instead, have a family night where you watch a movie, play a board game, play a family video game…just do something as a family.
Stepping away from your job and getting some down time can help rejuvenate you and your passion, which helps you be a better employee and co worker.