Think back to your first day on the job. Were you nervous and anxious to do the best job you could? Now think about yesterday — did you feel the same excitement?
Chances are, your answer to that question is “No.” Everyone wants to follow their passion, but that’s easy when passion’s flame is fresh. However, as that flame fades, you must work harder and harder to remain passionate about your career.
Good news: You can re-ignite your joy for the job you perform. These four strategies will get you started:
- Stoke your own fire. Passion comes from your heart, which means no one can light that flame for you. If you aren’t sure of your passion or how to reignite it, try speaking to people you admire or retrace your steps so that you remember what pushed you on your career path to start with. Interesting: As a manager, your employees may look to you for inspiration. By being a fair, compassionate leader, you may help them keep their fires stoked.
- Redefine your passion. What motivated you early in your career may not be enough to motivate you now. You have different perspectives, skill sets and values than you used to. Try this: Set goals that match this stage in your life. Determine what you hope to accomplish and then focus on that. This new vision will help you remain invested and passionate about your career. Example: Perhaps you began your career hoping to make your company excellent. Now that you feel comfortable with your performance, you may want to focus on cultivating your company’s next generation of leaders as a coach or mentor. This simple change in focus can be enough to revitalize your energy and pump up your professional spirit.
- Get used to being uncomfortable. Often, a slump in passion results from increased monotony at work. You can break out of that slump simply by doing things differently — or doing different things. Try this: You could take your skill set to your local community college or organization for a series of lectures or apply your business experiences by expanding your company’s operations into the global arena. When you shake up your daily life, your passion could multiply astronomically.
- Focus on the big picture. Thinking about a cause or problem outside of yourself can be a powerful tool for rekindling your passion. You may find that your current position doesn’t offer the same challenges that attracted you in the beginning, but another group or cause does. Think of it like this: Now that you’ve conquered your career, you could use your skills and experiences to solve other people’s problems. For instance, if you figured out how to streamline your company’s finances, you may be the perfect person to work with a non-profit agency to work out the kinks in theirs. As the source of your passion matures, consider the many ways your career can evolve, as well.