There are times in our professional and personal life when we all struggle to keep up with the pace of the people around us. Everything seems to be happening in a jiffy and we do not have any control whatsoever over the consequences and effects of these events, even when we are a participant in them.
Sometimes, a job that was previously fulfilling becomes like a vicious trap, slowly killing our enthusiasm and the zing. The same people who called you the star employee now look at you as a lost case. You are restless and do not know which direction to go. A very scary situation to be in, this is a most certain possibility for those who have remained away from the workplace for a certain time for any number of reasons.
A long break from work, either planned or sudden, makes it difficult to regain that pace which you had achieved prior to leaving the workplace. Upon your return, you might find a lot of things have changed. Much to your disliking and surprise, you may suddenly feel demoralized, lost and lazy at work, because nothing is like what you had imagined it to be. What to do in such a situation? How do you regain that zeal that you were famous for?
How you will go about regaining your passion for work depends on why you lost it at the first place. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for restoring the lost enthusiasm. If a manager who after working for 25 years in one organization finds himself bored and lost, he will have to go through a different treatment than person who has simply lost touch with his job function because of a long break from work. These two professionals are facing the same problem but, due to different reasons, the resolutions will be entirely dissimilar.
While the former might be advised to take a time out, the latter cannot be asked to do the same. Most counselors do not prescribe a single strategic solution but opt for a mixed approach. Regardless of the path chosen, it is important to take time to reflect upon your past, present and future before undertaking any changes.
Here are a few ways to regain
1. Find new possibilities and potential.
One of the reasons behind losing interest could be your over-familiarity with your work. The things that excited you when you started working in that field might now seem redundant and too easy. This is quite normal as our priorities keep changing with time. However, be sure to explore all of the various aspects of your work function before becoming too disheartened. For instance, if you are a designer, there are some areas of designing that you might not have explored to date. So, instead of thinking about implementing drastic changes, you could simply find a new niche in designing. This way your love for designing would remain satiated without boredom creeping up on you. Thus, exploring new possibilities within your field of expertise can really make things better for you.
2. Pursue a new program.
How about pursuing a leadership or executive program that is relevant to your field of expertise? It will serve two purposes: (1) it will give you a refreshing pause from your daily work and (2) it will serve as a launch-pad for the next phase of your career. During the program you will get to attend various leadership seminars and presentations which could help prepare you for that next promotion. By the end of the program, you will be brimming with confidence and positivity, all set to apply for new roles and companies.
3. Find a mentor/Be a mentor to others.
Just like a map would help us navigate easily to an unknown place, similarly, an expert’s view can be of great assistance in finding a way out of a difficult situation. This outside help can be an advice from a friend, family member or a senior at work. You can also ask for guidance from a professional coach who can help you identify your key interest areas and strengths that correlate with your current job. Based on his inputs you will be able to do self-reflection where you will be able to decide for yourself whether to investing more time into your current career or shifting to a new career would be the right choice to make.
Just like a mentor helps in self-assessment, being a mentor to someone can be a great self-discovery exercise, where you will be reminded of your heyday as a passionate employee. This memory trek can help you recognize the things that you loved about your work and you will be able to once again enjoy those aspects of your work.