By Catherine Conlan
Many people have ambivalent feelings about their jobs. Work is a place they go to, do some chores at, and then come home from, without feeling like they’ve grown personally or professionally, or have made a real difference in the world. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to elevate your job from a task to something fulfilling. Here are some small changes you can make to love the job you have.
Talk to your boss.
If you think there are changes that could be made to improve your outlook, let someone know, says Cheryl Heisler, president and founder of Lawternatives. “It’s very possible that the company would rather hear what you are unhappy about and fix it than to see you walk,” she says. “It’s costly to lose a trained employee, and no one wants to lose someone good.”
But don’t just drop into the boss’ office unannounced and say, “I’m bored.” Identify what’s dissatisfying you and come up with some concrete ideas on how to change it before you talk to your boss.
Try something new.
“The best way to learn a new skill, demonstrate your potential and get out of a work rut is to take on a stretch assignment,” says Todd Cherches, founder and CEO of BigBlueGumball. “Not only will you be helping out your team or department by making a value-added contribution, but you’ll be enhancing your reputation while challenging yourself to reach new heights.” Heisler agrees. “We all like to do things that are familiar, but if that’s all we do, we get bored and lose interest.” Asking for something new and challenging can help “stir up the pot.”
Step back a bit.
Even when you like your job, it’s important to mentally detach and revitalize when you’re not at work, says Dr. Paula Thompson, a career coach. “Studies show that people who spend their non-work time engaged in hobbies, sports and social activities have higher job satisfaction.”
Taking on a new challenge outside of work can be as invigorating as one at work. “The more you love your life outside the office, the happier you will be when you are in,” Heisler says. “Extra-curriculars keep life fun and keep work in its proper perspective.”
Complaining about work with others, especially if it’s just gossip. “Focusing on the negative will bring down your spirits,” Thompson says. “Instead, purposefully develop friendships with your co-workers who love their jobs, and you will find that their passion will be contagious and make you feel better about yours.” If the entire work environment is negative, you might have to find a way to shield yourself from the negativity, or, alternately, look for options for boosting morale.
Start fresh every day.
Sometimes wiping the slate clean and starting fresh can help you recharge your batteries, Cherches says. “What if next Monday were your first day on the job?” he asks. “How would you prioritize? What would you start doing? What would you stop doing? What would you wear?” Organizing your workspace, clearing out the inbox, tossing out piled-up paperwork and setting deadlines for projects can all help you find new energy for your job. “Consciously deciding to adjust your attitude and approach your work in a new way may just help you get re-engaged and rejuvenated.”
This article is originally posted in Monster.