Is the passion gone in your career? Are you increasingly dissatisfied, unfulfilled or bored in your current role?
Everyone looks for work satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness in their own way. You may find a deep sense of serving and building close relationships with your clients or coworkers very fulfilling. Others may find the ability to be creative and generate new ideas is what lights them up at work.
For me, I love helping others achieve their goals and dreams. In my Human Resources career, that was the most fulfilling part.
Helping executives create a strategy and plan for their employees’ growth and development was my favorite part of HR. In a matter of months, this intentional and focused effort provided impressive results for employees: promotions, growth opportunities and improved career satisfaction, and much more.
Unfortunately, with new leadership things changed. Growth and development was no longer prioritized nor valued. I personally felt the passion disappear in my career.
Now as a coach the passion is back. I get to do what I love 100% percent of the time.
Benefits of passion in your work
There are numerous benefits for having passion in the work you do.
Passion brings energy to your work: you wake up in the morning, more energized and refreshed knowing you get to go in and spend time doing what you love. The energy supports getting tasks done on time, even over delivering on your promised results.
Passion in your work also keeps you motivated. You’re willing to put in extra effort and hours but it doesn’t feel overwhelming. The time flies by because you’re enjoying what you do.
You’re more engaged, creative, focused and since you love what you do you’re producing high-quality work and it shows.
You have a clear purpose and vision for what you do and where you’re heading.
Reasons why the passion is gone
I’ve experienced many of the following situations personally in my corporate career, and while working in Human Resources witnessed all of them play out throughout the organizations where I worked.
In most cases, the company would lose excellent employees who were no longer willing to accept these situations. In other cases, I saw employees remain in their jobs but become increasingly disengaged (employee engagement scores plummeted) because they felt powerless to improve their situation.
One reason leading to dissatisfaction in your career is being underpaid and overworked. That builds resentment and a feeling of not being valued. Even if you’re paid well, maybe you’re not valued as a person or the work you do isn’t valued in other ways.
Toxic work environments may be a cause for losing the passion in your career. Does your employer disregard your personal life and have no tolerance for your personal and family obligations?
Perhaps your immediate supervisor is unqualified for their job, or they have a tyrant workstyle. You have to watch every word you say and every move you make because there’s no support from that supervisor or others, and you can get fired for almost any reason. Regardless of how much you love your work, the toxic work environment is exhausting.
Having no visibility into the future at your organization or no confidence that your leaders will do the right thing, either from a business standpoint or ethically, can also lead to dissatisfaction.
And lastly, politics in your workplace and getting tired of dealing with it, is another reason people lose their passion for the work they once had. I heard it a lot “why can’t I just focus on the work without all these political distractions?”
Many of these reasons could be workplace specific, and people will leave their current employer having learned what they won’t tolerate. They could potentially find a better match and the passion returns.
Others may continue to feel “bored” after years of doing the same type of work. You may be achieving your business goals but is it truly satisfying work?
You may feel that something is missing from your life. That you’re just going through the motions at work without experiencing any real satisfaction from the successes you’re achieving.
Remember, your job doesn’t have to last forever. The days of working for one employer for 30+ years are long gone.
If you find yourself bored or miserable at work, even if it’s work you’re passionate about, a change of job or of profession, might be the solution for you.
However, it’s not always feasible to change your job, quit to start your own business or move somewhere new, even if your situation is undesirable. These are major changes that not everyone is up for.
Alternatively, you can stay in that same job, and do some work to attempt to improve things, starting with what your work means to you.
Look for the deeper meaning
Being passionate about work doesn’t necessarily mean it makes you happy but rather that it is meaningful.
If the passion in your career is dwindling, look for the deeper meaning in what you do.
Why do you do what you do? How did you initially get into your current profession? Why is your work important to your organization and to others? How does your work affect you and affect others?
Answering questions like these will give you a better understanding of the meaning behind your work.
Act with intention: steps to take now
In addition to answering questions like those above, you can go deeper with answering additional questions like:
- What’s your favorite part of your work day, work week and work year?
- What’s the best thing that’s happened to you in last week?
- What’s amazing about your team? About your coworkers? About your supervisor?
- How can the tasks you do become more meaningful?
- How can you change things so you get more of what’s important to you?
Then make small adjustments so that your work more directly reflects your beliefs, values and needs. You can also change the way you think about different aspects of your job to bring more fulfillment and satisfaction back.
This deeper self-reflection can be done on your own or you may find working with a coach a more effective process. A coach can help you find the bright spots in your work life and enlarge them. Together you’ll create more fulfillment by giving a deeper meaning to your projects, teams, work relationships and even the organization.
When you create a purposeful meaning for your work, you’ll find more happiness in your day to day activities as well as a greater satisfaction in your life overall.
Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash