Dread being back at work? 4 tips to reviving the joy in your job

You used to love going to work (or doing work in the hybrid world) and being inspired to solve problems. You used these types of trips. But now, even after the December hiatus, you find it hard to get excited about the new year with a renewed focus.

Image source: Andrea Piacquadio from

Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

At the end of last year, you probably thought, “I need a break…” but now that you’re back at work, you’re probably scrolling through social media, TikTok, or Pinterest, counting down the minutes until you can close the laptop.

You can also surreptitiously browse job portals in hopes of finding inspiration for the predicament you find yourself in.

However, it’s not as cut and dry as you might hope, especially given the current economic scenario where you should “just be thankful you have a job.” Furthermore, the hope of being “innovative” adds another layer to this difficult situation.

According to PwC’s Workforce Hopes and Fears survey of more than 52,000 workers in 44 countries, nearly one in five workers worldwide say they are likely to change jobs in the next 12 months, indicating that the so-called “Great Resignation” “doesn’t disappear.

Enough has been written about how, especially in a country with such high unemployment, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and that you should water the garden you have now.

Here are some suggestions for revitalizing your current career while you still have the chance to find inspiration and new joy in what you do.

  1. What makes you happy in your role?
  2. You can greatly improve your performance by finding meaning and significance in your work. Focus is a crucial quality in developing your agility.

    You will be able to better understand how to use your innate talents and interests to help and support the larger team when you focus on them. This will immediately affect how you feel like a significant investment, which will directly affect how you feel like you belong.

    As professionals, we are tempted to “fix” things, which is to focus on our weaknesses instead of building on our innate strengths. To discover your innate strengths, make a list of the activities you do in a typical week.

    Write down which activities excite you, those in which you are lost in time. The things you do effortlessly show your natural strengths.

    Share your talents and strengths with the world now that you’ve discovered them. Think about how you can help others. Sometimes all it takes to ignite that spark is a change of scenery. Another possibility is that you get more energy from helping others. For example, helping a certain cross-functional team with a large project.

    It can also enhance your reputation as a reliable and valuable resource and inspire new enthusiasm for your problem-solving skills.

  3. What does your career mosaic look like?
  4. Traditional career planning is no longer effective. The career mosaic is a concept taught by Agile HR. As a result, jobs are more flexible, with an emphasis on personal growth and added value for both the organization and the individual.

    Instead of waiting for a manager or HR program, you should take responsibility for your own development. You should start conversations about your future and be honest about your goals.

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  1. Get a mentor (or two)
  2. Many of us can attest to the value of a mentor. The opportunity to discuss your ideas with an expert and gain insight into their life and work experience is invaluable. There is great value in using shared learning to influence your career choices, gaining insight and appreciation.

    What I have learned from my mentor is the benefits of networking and how to embrace the currency of generosity. It simply means being open to sharing knowledge and being helpful without expecting anything in return.

    I had more than one mentor…one with a specific HR, functional perspective and one from a broader business strategy and personal perspective. My HR mentor has helped me handle sensitive issues; some complex industrial relations issues and dealing with them using a people-centred approach rather than just putting a tick where you fire someone.

  3. The power of self-management
  4. How do you channel your energy? What view of the world do you see? The daily practice of consciously choosing how you see the world will affect how you think, feel, and act. This is very important if you want to revive your career.

    Our brains are like Velcro – we first notice (and sometimes obsess over) the negative. Be intentional about finding the benefits in your role and the value and impact you bring to clients and team members.

    Another step in self-management is to assess whether you are biased. Bias is just an automatic response we use to navigate the world to react quickly and without thinking.

    What mental shortcuts are you taking that affect your current role and may need to be adjusted?

    For example, if you’re in a brainstorming session and you tend to favor or hate a suggestion from a teammate, ask yourself, “If someone else made this suggestion, would I like or dislike the concept as well. Yes?”

In conclusion

As you revitalize your position and profession, consider the role of self-care. Consider whether you have enough habits to be resilient and perform at a high level. Self-care is essential, and overwhelming evidence supports the benefits of soul-nourishing through journaling, quieting the mind, and mindfulness.

Think about your commitment level. Maybe 3 x 5 minutes of conscious breathing, maybe a morning routine that includes some exercise. Decide what works for you. Take time to develop regular rhythms and habits that will help you. These rhythms and routines can help you better deal with the challenges you face at work, and as a result, you’ll find joy in your professional journey.


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