Heart Not in Your Work? There Are Ways to Make Your Job More Fulfilling

By Harvard Business Review
September 7, 2017

Though the tendency is to simply grin and bear it, scientific research suggests you can reimagine an uninspiring professional existence.

In an ideal world, our work lives would be completely fulfilling, full of meaning and intrinsically motivating. But what if you’re trapped in a job and your heart isn’t in it anymore?

Though the tendency among some of us in such situations is to simply grin and bear it, scientific research suggests that there are ways to reimagine an uninspiring professional existence.

Have your priorities and needs changed? Can you tweak your job or do you need to move on?

 ASSESS WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF YOUR WORK. People tend to fall into one of three categories: Some see their work as a career; others see it as just a job; and still others see it as a calling. It’s this third category of people who exhibit a greater sense of satisfaction with their jobs. The key for you is to determine what you care about now and build from there.

 SEE IF PARTS OF YOUR JOB ARE “CRAFTABLE.” “Job crafting” involves tweaking certain aspects of your work to gain a greater sense of meaning and satisfaction. If you enjoy analysis but not sales, you may be able to adjust your responsibilities in that direction.

 IGNITE YOUR PASSION OUTSIDE OF WORK. It might be a latent hobby, a personal project or a “side hustle” — whatever it is, having an outlet for your passion outside of work can counterbalance the monotony of your day job.

 IF ALL ELSE FAILS, MAKE A CHANGE. Think about your career: Have your priorities and needs changed? Can you tweak your job or do you need to move on? If you do decide to change your career, you should network with people in professions you might be interested in, get your finances in order and test out the new career before making the change.

 Copyright 2017 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

Topics: Career Planning

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