I own my business and have been running this Cubicle Chick machine for about five years now. I have found my calling and it is a true passion of mine. But even I have moments where I’m just not feeling it. We all do! It is called being human. Even if you have a career and profession that you love, there are periods where you may have lost that loving feeling. It happens to the best of us, and believe me, if it hasn’t happened to you, you are the exception to the rule. During times like these, you may feel like you are in a funk and you may not come out of it. But when you truly enjoy what you are doing, you almost always will come out of it stronger and better than before.
So if this is your current situation and you are feeling some kind of way, I’ve got five ways to help you fall back in love with your career:
Go Through Your Work Archive
When I begin to feel like I am stuck in a rut or the fog of not feeling it, I take a look through my work archive; projects that I’ve been a part of (or the head of), and things that I’ve done over the past five years that I am proud of. Doing this makes me visually see the progress I’ve made, even when it looks to me like I haven’t made any. I will go through super old blog posts, or look at photos of past conferences I’ve attended and been a part of. Doing this puts it all in perspective, and makes me hungry again to accomplish even more and be better than I was before.
If you don’t already, set up a “Brag Book” or a place where you can store all of your storied projects and main accomplishments. Refer back to it as needed for an extra boost of encouragement.
As a career professional, you’ve probably achieved some awards and such. Taking time our during your slumping periods to look at what you’ve achieved can put the fire back in your belly. Were you given a major award of some sort or listed on a top list of a well-known publication? These types of achievements are things that only the top notch experience, so use it as a tool to refocus and recharge. There are more great things ahead of you.
Take Someone Under Your Wing
Becoming a mentor to someone else who is coming up in your field is a great way, not only to give back, but to bring you back to why you do what you do in the first place. Working with someone who’ve you taken under your wing can give you more purpose as you share things that you may have forgotten that you loved to do. As we move up the Corporate Ladder, we tend to forget what we loved to do in our careers. Helping someone else can also help you realign with your love of your work, and thus, give you that spark back.
Short Sabbatical or “Vacation”
Career burnout happens to the best of us. It doesn’t mean that you no longer like your career, it just means that some time off is necessary to recalibrate. Take a work-free vacation if you can. And if that isn’t enough, perhaps a sabbatical (or gap year) is needed to help you mentally.
Freelance or Start Side Project
To rekindle those burning flames, you can freelance and take on projects of your own within your profession to help get your mojo back. Of course, check your day job to clarify any non-competes that may be in place. These “pet projects” or side hustles can be just what the doctor ordered. And if you are really feeling it, you may want to use this as a way to parlay your talents into your own small business.
If you are truly passionate about your career, these 5 tips above can be just what the doctor ordered. But if you try these tips and you still aren’t feeling the spark, it could mean that it is time for you to try something else career-wise. Or perhaps, change employers. If you have fallen out of love with your career, I’ve got some tips as well on how to make your next move.