If you're feeling less than engaged in a job you once loved, know that you're not alone, writes Andy Molinsky for the Harvard Business Review.
Molinsky is a professor of organizational behavior at the Brandeis International Business School who has written several books on career strategy. He cites a 2017 Gallup survey that found only one third of U.S. workers feel engaged at work.
There are a lot of reasons why you might be feeling this way, Molinsky writes, but he recommends focusing on the actions you can take to feel more engaged at work in the future. He suggests three steps to try before you consider a new career.
Realize that your attitude toward work may fluctuate
Not everyone sees their career as their calling. Some see it as just a job, and that's fine, Molinsky writes. Figure out which part of your current role you are most passionate about, he recommends, and then try to frame your day-to-day work around that.
But don't try to force yourself back into that zealous and enthusiastic mindset you had when you were 20-something. It just might not work, he notes.
Shape your role to your interests
Don't feel bogged down by what's listed on your job description. Yes, you have to do all of those things, but try to fine-tune the tasks that you don't enjoy as much, Molinsky suggests. For example, if you like data analysis but you have a sales role, consider putting more emphasis on data and allow it to give you hints as to how to approach sales opportunities.
To make this a little more creative, you could even do a before-and-after outline of your job responsibilities, Molinsky writes.
Who are today's lifelong learners, and where do they learn?
Invest more time in a personal project
Finding a hobby or project outside of work can reignite your engagement across all areas of life, Molinsky writes. Doing something you're passionate about on the side may even bring you more energy or new skills to use at your full-time job (Molinsky, Harvard Business Review, 7/10).
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