Career & Finance

Lacking Passion at Work? These 6 Simple Actions Can Help

written by MICHELLE LEMA
how to find passion"
how to find passion
Source: Cora Pursley | Dupe
Source: Cora Pursley | Dupe

Much like anything in life, your career will have ebbs and flows. You might feel excited about new goals you’ve set at the beginning of Q1 and then find yourself in a total slump by Q3. The truth is, this is normal. It’s OK to not feel sparks about your job all the time! So, if you feel this way, you’re certainly not alone—even people who love their jobs grapple with periods when they’ve lost enthusiasm. Inevitably, as we adapt as people and the world changes around us, we should expect our goals, desires, and passions to change, too.

If you’re no longer feeling passion for your work, and you want to reinvigorate that passion you once felt, there is hope. Plus, chances are there’s something you can learn from it. Whether you’re looking to try something new or to get back to a healthier headspace in your current job, read on for some accessible methods for how to find passion again in your career.

1. Reflect on your current job

With the busy lives we all lead, juggling friends and family and responsibilities, it’s difficult to pinpoint when and why we stopped being inspired. The best way to get to the root of the issue is to take time to reflect. It sounds a little boring, I know, but trust that 5-10 minutes can create clarity. Commit these minutes to explore the “when” and “why” your feelings changed. You can do this through journaling your thoughts, or if that’s not your thing, reflecting while you’re on a feel-good run. Regardless, make sure you’re in a place that’s away from your phone and emails. Put on some music that inspires you, or keep things serene if you prefer quiet. Then, listen to your thoughts. These thought-starter questions can help you reflect and give you answers for how to find passion again.

  • When did I last feel passionate about my job?
  • What parts of my job do I wish I could do more of?
  • What parts of my job are the most challenging?
  • What areas of my job are making it more difficult to maintain a work-life balance?
  • What are my long-term goals?
  • Is my lack of passion for my job because the work is not meeting my goals?
  • If I’m meeting my goals, is my lack of passion due to something else, like burnout?

Once you identify what may have caused the loss of passion in your work, you can begin to make some changes. Start by setting small boundaries in the area of concern (like turning off emails at the same time every day) if you’re feeling burnt out, talking to your manager about your goals if you’re lacking motivation, or researching options if you want to move to a new career entirely.

2. Mentor someone who is interested in your work

Reflection time is essential, but spending too much time in your own head can make you spiral. The best way to get out of your own head? Help someone else. If you’ve been in a job for a while, a lack of passion may be rooted in the monotony of your day-to-day. What better way to counter this than to share your work with someone who might be inspired by it? Oftentimes, your workplace, the school you went to, or local organizations will have mentorship programs you can sign up for. Even within your circle, you could have a friend who wants to learn more about your job. Say yes to those meetings, have a coffee, and chat about your work.

Talking about your job to someone who aspires to do it can remind you what excited you about it in the first place. Plus, shining a spotlight on the dreams of someone else is a great way to put our own path into perspective. We’re all working through obstacles and achievements, and no two roads are alike. Being reminded of this is a confidence builder that will help you see how far you’ve come, so you can figure out where you want to go next, too.

3. Expand your skills

Are you feeling straight-up bored with your work or are you just not doing the work you’ve dreamed of doing? How about both? No wonder you’re questioning how to find passion. This is incredibly common to experience, no matter where you’re at in your career. Maybe you’re missing the spark you felt when you first graduated school and got into your first real job. Or, you wish you felt the same excitement you did when you got a promotion and a new title. You may not be able to experience those “firsts” again, but you can recreate that excited energy by trying something new and applying it to your career.

What are areas in or around your current role that you could learn more about? For example, if there are opportunities at work to present reports to upper management, take a presentation skills course. If you work in a creative field, learn a new program like Photoshop to enhance your ability to be self-sufficient when on a deadline. If you’re unsure what you might be into, take a look at online course sites like Masterclass, which offers a large variety of online classes created for students of all skill levels.

Make sure to let your manager or the people you work with know you’re taking on a new skill, and ask for assignments related to it. Those assignments could open doors for you to do something new in your day-to-day that excites you. Sometimes, this is all you need to reignite the passion you once had and make your job feel like it’s the first day again. It will also remind you that the world is large, as are the opportunities you have in it.

Rather than letting your lack of passion dictate your week, consider it a challenge to bounce back stronger than ever.

4. Explore other roles

If you love the company or field you work in but are no longer excited by your current role, it might be time to see what else is out there. Most larger companies have an internal career website where you can research other roles within the organization. If you’re self-employed or work in a field that doesn’t have a company umbrella, research job boards and take a peek at LinkedIn. Ask people you trust at work, whether that be your manager, coworkers, or your network, about available growth opportunities. Not only can they introduce you to exciting paths, but they can help support and advise you as you move forward.

The best outcome of this type of research is that it might help you determine what it is you really want, whether that be continuing in your job or moving to another one. Ultimately, the more information you have, the more chances there are for inspiration to strike.

5. Test run a different job on the side

Maybe you’ve gone through the above steps and determined that you want to seek out another job. If this is the case but you’re not quite ready to make a full-on career change, consider a side job to act as a test run. Start by determining what type of side job you might be interested in. What can you do now to start that work? What is your vision for how the work would evolve? Don’t have a vision yet? No problem. Just start somewhere—doing something small but scary every day. Volunteer to take photos at a friend’s event if you’re looking to get into photography. Design your own website. Start your business Instagram and TikTok handles. Consider this a test run to see how you really feel about the work while still keeping your regular job.

You may find that you’re actually not interested in this work at all (good thing you tried first!). If this is the case, try something else! If you decide that you love it, write down the steps it will take to make it a full-time gig. Allow yourself to dream and above all, make sure you’re prioritizing your mental health and wellness. If your side job is stressing you out more than your regular job, pivot. The great thing about a side job is that you’re in charge, and you can make it your own.

6. Prioritize life outside of work

I know from experience that work-life balance is easier said than done, especially if you’re in a workplace that doesn’t always prioritize it. If you loved your job but lost passion for it because you don’t have time for yourself, friends, or a partner, it’s time to set some boundaries and prioritize work-life balance.

Maybe start by shutting down your email at a certain hour or actually taking your lunch break. If you find that you’re still mentally at work, replaying a conversation or creating the next day’s to-do list, even after you’ve implemented this, try taking yourself to a movie, getting dinner with a friend and leaving your phone in your bag, or reading a book with your phone in the other room. The more you practice shutting down and redirecting your attention to another activity, the better you’ll be at making the transition out of work at the end of the day.

As you practice these transitions between work and home, it’s important to continue to take time to find perspective, reflect, or journal. Ask yourself: What is most important to me when I’m at work? What is most important to me in my life outside of work? Where do the two meet? The answers to these questions may help you navigate a path back to feeling passionate about your job and enjoying your life outside of work all at the same time.