Written by: Aaron Keith, Carly Ryter, and Dori Levine
Now that COVID is mostly behind us, we might all need some inspiration in the workplace and in our day-to-day jobs. Going back into the office after working remotely for so long, people may find it difficult to connect with their work, and may be distracted and feel generally indifferent. We’ve compiled some helpful ways on how to keep the spark alive and love your job.
A quick way to find love for your job, even in the midst of a stressful week at work, is to shift your focus and perspective in the moment. Whenever you find yourself taking a deep breath or letting out a long sigh, tap into your conscious stream of thought. Pay close attention to your thoughts and recognize when they are based around negativity. As soon as you find yourself focusing on all of the things that could be going wrong, immediately flip your perspective. Continue to remind yourself of the positivity this job brings to your life, and make this your primary focus. Find a deep level of gratitude for what you have and what it provides for you, your family, your lifestyle, or even for the level of service you are able to provide to others.
Remember, we can always find things that could be better but if we are waiting for those to happen before finding happiness and gratitude in our current situation, then we may never reach this state. Also, this isn’t just finding a surface level positive mantra to chant, this is feeling thankful for all that you have, in this very moment, with all of your body, mind, and soul
Root Out Uncertainty
One source of frustration that is sure to lead you away from a love affair with your job is a feeling of uncertainty about what is expected of you or any ambiguity within your job responsibilities. Oftentimes when this occurs, it manifests as frustration with our boss or co-workers and it may not be clear that the culprit is our own lack of understanding of what is expected of us.
If you find yourself feeling resentful or confused, take a few minutes to be still and ask yourself if you are feeling unclear on what your role is within your company or a project. Schedule a meeting with your boss or superior to ask the questions needed to gain a complete understanding of all of your responsibilities.
Remember — asking questions, specifically what is expected of us, is a positive and proactive action to take. Whenever we can offload anything that is creating worry or anxiety, even in the subconscious, it frees us up to be more conscious of what is currently in front of us.
Tap into Creativity
Never underestimate what a little creativity and spontaneous energy can do to the spirit! On an episode of a self-development podcast called Wise Whys, they talk about how creativity can be defined as “anything that is non-repetitious”. This means that you don’t need to be a painter, poet, or musician to exercise your creative side and reap the benefits of what this expression of energy inherently brings. Some of these benefits may include reduced stress and anxiety, improved ability to focus, and even a renewed sense of purpose! How could we not fall in love with our job if it included a healthy dose of self-expression?!
The type of creativity you express may differ based on the type of job you have. It could be as simple as drinking your coffee with your non-dominant hand or using unique adjectives when describing a situation to a coworker. You could even rearrange your workspace, change the decor around your space, or alter the direction you face while working. When changing your perspective of creativity to mean anything that is outside of what your normal pattern is,
the sky the universe is the limit! See what we did there? Your turn now! Grab a sticky note and jot down a couple of ways you can be creative today and see if you notice the world becoming a little lighter and more lively.
Oftentimes during the workday, we put our heads down, open up our emails and to-do lists, and do our best to make it through another busy day. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day, but it’s important to reflect on projects that we’ve recently completed, what were our strengths/challenges within those projects, and reflect on that information to set goals for ourselves.
The beauty of goal-setting is that it can be as simple as marking down one thing that you’d like to complete by the end of the month, or it can be more in-depth and involved as something you’d like to achieve by the end of the year. It’s important to set goals that are obtainable and realistically achievable while also challenging yourself to grow.
When we pause and take time to create benchmarks for ourselves in the coming months or years or even two years, it helps us drive our career paths forward. We’re able to think about the bigger picture of our work and why it’s beneficial to us and our team. Goal-setting and achievement of those goals may even result in a salary change or promotion!
We can sometimes be frustrated when we make a mistake, but we often don’t praise ourselves when we finish a successful project. At Jackrabbit, when a Project Manager receives a complimentary note from a client, they will post it in our team-wide Slack channel so those who worked on the project receive the praise as well. At the completion of a 6-month website project, the PM will announce the launch to the team, ensuring recognition to all members of the team as it’s a collaborative effort. It’s a great way to give team members credit while showing off the project as well!
Humans are inherently hard on themselves—we do it in our day-to-day lives and especially in the workplace. It can make our jobs a lot harder because we focus on the negative and on things that we might have made a mistake on instead of celebrating our wins and our successes. It’s okay to take a moment to congratulate yourself after you’ve completed a project, led an important meeting, or found a more efficient way to do something. Self-validation is the key to self-fulfillment!
We can easily get into the grind of just working all the time trying to get through tasks, meet deadlines, and days filling up meetings. But we aren’t robots and everyone needs, and deserves, a break from time to time! Be sure to take advantage of the benefits of PTO, it’s offered as part of your employment for a reason! Whether it’s a staycation hanging out at home or traveling to a beach resort sipping on a cocktail poolside, vacation and time off are good for the soul. Studies show that it results in higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits, according to the Project: Time Off study.
If a vacation or time away isn’t possible in your current situation, smaller breaks throughout the day can help your mind and body recharge as well. Take time to step away from the computer: take your dog for a walk, go out and grab a latte, or Slack a coworker to check in and feel more connected.
One of the most important aspects of loving your job is the people you work alongside with. Whether you are working back in the office, hybrid, or still fully remote, it’s important to feel connected to your colleagues. They are a great resource for collaboration, advice, guidance, and inspiration with your job. If you are struggling with loving your job, be open and honest as most coworkers want to help, professionally and personally! Check out our recent blog post on how we at Jackrabbit are staying connected with our workers. You can and should find enjoyment in your work and loving your job only enhances your overall happiness and self-esteem. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work, refer to these helpful tips on how to change your mindset and make the most of your work!