Image from Fortune.com
The average 40-hour-a-week employee will spend 9.5 years of their lives at work. From Monday to Friday, it takes up half of our working hours – more if we include commuting. If you’ve lost interest in your job, then it can make this time quite miserable, with a knock-on effect on the rest of our lives.
The first step towards solving the problem is, as always, to diagnose it. So what are some common reasons for losing interest at work?
Something has changed in the office
Perhaps the nature of your job has changed, you’re working on different tasks, with different clients, or you have new colleagues you don’t bounce off as much as previously. Maybe the new job description isn’t something you enjoy, or even something you’re good at. Perhaps those promises of a promotion, interesting projects, or travel haven’t been kept. Maybe the company is going through tough times, staff have been cut but overall workload hasn’t, and morale is low – you won’t be immune from the negative vibes going around the office.
Something has changed with you
As people we are constantly changing. The person we are today isn’t the person we will be tomorrow, certainly it isn’t the person we will be this time in 2020. So if your goals are different, what you want to get out of your job is different, or if your interests have changed, yet your job is pretty much the same as before, then it’s not surprising that you’ve not got the same energy and drive that you used to bring to the office. Or maybe your family situation has changed and your job no longer fits in with your life?
Personal problems would also fit into this category.
The job isn’t what you thought it was
This links back to something changing at work, but maybe you went into the job with false expectations. Did you expect something would happen, that you’d get some interesting challenges, but not ask about them at the interview and now they’re not happening? This is why we should always find out as much as possible about a job before starting it – if it isn’t what we expect, then we can become unhappy pretty quickly.
You’re not getting on with your boss
“People don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses,” is simplistic. But if you’re not getting on with your boss, then it makes work difficult. You’re on tenterhooks in case you are criticised, disciplined or even fired. At best, you dread going to talk to them. This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault, sometimes two people just don’t click, but a poor relationship with your boss will almost inevitably lead to you resenting your work.
Lack of appreciation
From bosses of course, but also from colleagues. There are few jobs that require someone to work completely solo – even when the role appears isolated, it’s almost always part of a wider team effort. So when you’re doing well and playing a great part, and especially if you’re going above and beyond, it’s natural to want a little appreciation. If you don’t get it, you might wonder just what’s the point?
You were never that interested in the first place
They say a change is as good as a rest, and a new job can be energising. New people to meet, new things to learn, a change to your old boring routine… until the new job becomes a boring routine too. Did you move from a job you didn’t like, straight into the same situation elsewhere? No wonder you’re struggling now.
So the obvious next question is, how are you going to solve the problem? Well, identifying it is the first step. Maybe you recognise yourself in the above possibilities. Or maybe you simply can’t tell why you’re miserable at work. In that case, think about when you started feeling bad, and what changed at that time. Talk to others if they could help.
Then start taking action to become happier in the office. It won’t happen on its own, and nobody else will do it for you.