Every relationship has its ups and downs, and you and your job are no exception. You’ve seen your job early in the morning before you can even hold a coffee cup, you spend more than nine or ten uninterrupted hours at a time together, and yes, on occasion, you’ve taken your job home.
So if you’re feeling like the honeymoon phase is over, don’t stress—even the best relationships are bound to hit some rocks. And even if you’re in the perfect position at a great company, it’s easy to fall out of professional bliss from time to time. But, of course, there are always ways to spice up a relationship, so try these simple tips for falling head-over-heels in love with your job again.
Do: Show a Little Love
You spend more time with your colleagues than your family, roommate, dog, or significant other. So, if you don’t feel like you really know (or enjoy) them, reach out and get to know a few new people over coffee or lunch. Hey, you all have at least two things in common: work and a life outside of it. Skip the shop talk and ask your officemates about their weekend plans, favorite albums, or upcoming vacations. Enjoying the people you work with is almost half of loving your job (and honing up on your networking skills is an added bonus).
Don’t: Focus on the Negative
At almost every office, there’s someone who likes to talk about all the reasons why you shouldn’t love your job. This person always has the latest dirt to dish, constantly complains about the company, and is always trying to get you to vent your work frustrations. But the Debbie Downers of the working world can easily drag you down with them. Steer clear of Deb and surround yourself with colleagues who are positive and passionate about what they do—it’s a guaranteed mood booster.
Do: Go on Vacation
Not getting time away from the office can burn out even the most dedicated professional, so make sure you’re getting a break now and then. (Many HR departments now force their people to use vacation time or lose it—they know that happier employees means less turnover.) And when you do go on vacation, leave your workload and company email behind. Sign off, get some much-needed R and R, and you’ll feel a lot better when you do get back to business.
Don’t: Take Your Bad Days Home
Every position has its share of challenges, and while you have to take work home sometimes, try to leave office politics where they belong—at the office. Venting or stressing about work issues outside of business hours only amplifies them, instead of giving you time to recharge and gain perspective. When you’re home after a not-so-great-day, take some time for yourself with a good book, a glass of wine, a bubble bath, or all of the above.
Do: Remember Your Value
When you’re burnt out, it’s hard to remember why you’re doing what you do. Take some time to step back and think about past projects and achievements you’re proud of and how they’ve changed the company in a positive way. Then, map out a plan to take those accomplishments to the next level by developing a new set of goals you can get excited about. You should always have a goal (or three) to keep you motivated about how you can bring more value to your employer—and your resume.
Do: Ask Yourself What’s Missing
Finally, spend some time thinking about the real reasons you’re falling out of lust with your position. Do you just need a vacation, or do you legitimately dislike what you’re doing for eight (or more) hours every day? Sometimes, you reach a breaking point when you and your job have outgrown each other—and if you have, that’s OK. Be honest with yourself about the reasons you’ve outgrown your position and what you want to look for next. Hey, another great relationship could be just around the corner.