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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Stay Motivated If You Don’t Really Like Your Job

How to Stay Motivated If You Don’t Really Like Your Job

Most people have had jobs that didn’t excite or interest them. You might even be in a job right now that makes you feel completely unmotivated. However, for whatever reason, you need to stick with it. In that case, it’s important to learn how to stay motivated, even in less-than-perfect conditions.

Work is a huge part of our lives, so it’s important that we make it meaningful and aim it toward our passion and purpose. Even if you’re in a job that you don’t really like, it’s possible to find ways to keep improving.

Here are 10 ways to stay motivated at a job you don’t love.

1. Figure out Why You Aren’t Motivated

Do you know exactly why you are not motivated? This should be the first thing that you do. Figuring out why you aren’t motivated will give you insight into exactly what you don’t like about your job.

You may find that you like your job but don’t like working for your critical boss. Or perhaps your interests have changed over time and you don’t like the area you’re in anymore. Or maybe you love to socialize, but you’re working in a cubicle where you rarely interact with your coworkers.

Whatever the situation, try to pinpoint exactly what it is that’s bringing down your energy levels. This will help you as you learn how to stay motivated and reach your goals in the long-term.

2. Leave Your Stress at Work

This can mean multiple things. Do not bring work home if you don’t need to. If your work is what is causing you stress, then you should try to leave it completely at work at all costs, if possible.

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This also means that you shouldn’t let a bad day at work make you feel miserable at home, as well. Try to keep work and home completely separate so that you can enjoy your free time.

This may mean creating a routine for when you get home to help you disconnect from the work day you just had. Maybe you go for a short walk, sit outside and eat a snack, or read a chapter of that new book you just bought. Whatever it is, it needs to be something that pulls your mind into the present moment and away from what happened during the day.

This will help you create a work-life balance that will help up your motivation in life in general.

3. Stay Positive

If you have a negative attitude about your job, then it will probably make it difficult to learn how to stay motivated. You need to try to think as positively as you can, and have a good outlook about the tasks that you are doing.

This will, of course, require a shift in thinking. Try to challenge each negative thought you have about a task. For example, if your boss just gave you a huge project that you’re dreading, instead of saying “This is going to be awful,” try telling yourself, “This is going to be a challenge, but it’ll be a great opportunity to learn something.”

If positive thinking is particularly difficult for you, try developing a daily meditation practice. This will help you create space to take in and analyze the negative thoughts you have throughout the day.

4. Lay out an Action Plan

If you don’t plan on staying at the job that you don’t really like, then you should come up with a way to find a better job or at least work on skills that will help you get one. You can start thinking about what your next job will be, how you will get that job, whether you will need schooling, and so on.

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Once you have an idea of what this future goal looks like, enroll in some free online courses, read books from the area, or start browsing job sites to see what’s available. The simple prospect of being able to find work you enjoy more will likely do wonders in lifting your motivation levels.

5. Find Hobbies You Enjoy Outside of Work

Having something that you enjoy outside of work can really make work more enjoyable. Hobbies will allow you to take your mind off of work and truly relax.

Not only is this a great stress reliever after work, but it can help you have something to look forward to throughout the day.

6. Be a Great Worker

Even if you do not like your job, try to do the best you can with the job you have. Focus as best you can on the task at hand. If your boss appreciates your work and praises you, then you will be more likely to feel motivated on a daily basis.

You can also try to help out your coworkers. Feeling altruistic will give you a positivity boost that will help you feel good about what you’re doing.

7. Take a Break When You Need to

Now, this doesn’t mean you should stop being an efficient worker, but you should take a break when you need to. If you have been skipping your lunch break for the past ten years, you’re just hurting yourself. You should take breaks so that you can feel refreshed when you go back to work.

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When you want to know how to stay motivated at work, use your vacation days!

    Also, a recent study showed that “more than half of Americans (55%) are still not using all their paid time off”[1]. If you’ve earned vacation days, use them! That free time with your family (or alone) will give you the necessary space to relax and unwind. You’ll also be able to look forward to these blocks of time[2] throughout the year, which should do something to boost your motivation.

    8. Look Forward to Something

    I’m sure there is some reason why you can’t leave your current job. You need to think about your end goal and why you currently are where you are. Maybe you are working in this current position so that you can possibly one day get a promotion.

    Maybe you are working this less-than-motivating position because you need to pay for your college degree. In that case, you need to think about how great it will feel when you finally graduate from college.

    Whatever the reason, keep a written reminder in sight at all times to help you remember why you’re doing the job you’re doing. With that visual, you can learn how to stay motivated and set goals, even when the work is less-than-ideal.

    9. Ask for New Responsibilities

    If you’re bored with the monotony of doing the same tasks each day, go to your boss and ask if there are any new responsibilities they would be willing to give you. Perhaps they’re looking for help on a project in an area that interests you. You won’t know if you don’t ask!

    Alternatively, you can ask your boss to inform you if any other positions come up within the company. With time, you may come across an opportunity to move into something you enjoy more.

    10. Dress Like You Are Still Motivated

    It can be easy to start “letting go” and not caring about your appearance when you feel unmotivated. However, don’t adopt this mindset. Make sure that you are still dressing the part and that you still feel confident with the way that you present yourself.

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    One study, described by The New York Times, explained that “If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases sharply. But if you wear the same white coat believing it belongs to a painter, you will show no such improvement”[3].

    These results belong to a field known as embodied cognition, which says that the way we think and process information is directly related to our physical appearance. So why is this important for your job?

    If you dress well and feel confident with the clothes you wear, you’re more likely to perform better, feel better, and achieve your goals.

    Final Thoughts

    Everyone experiences days at work when they feel unmotivated, but if it’s happening every day, it’s time to take a good look at your work life. It’s possible to learn how to stay motivated, even at a job you don’t really like.

    If you find that these things still aren’t working and that you are only growing more resentful of your job, it may be time to take the required steps to find a job that will make you happier.

    More on How to Stay Motivated at Work

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] U.S. Travel Association: PAID TIME OFF TRENDS IN THE U.S.
    [2] The Balance Careers: Vacation Time and Pay For Employees
    [3] The New York Times: Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat

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    Michelle Schroeder

    Michelle is a personal finance expert. She earns $1 million per year while sailing.

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    Last Updated on November 26, 2020

    How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

    How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

    As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

    “Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

    The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

    5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

    Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

    Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

    1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

    Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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    2. Show Compassion

    If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

    3. Communicate Regularly

    Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

    Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

    4. Ask for Feedback

    Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

    If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

    5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

    Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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    How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

    Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

    Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

    According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

    You Can Find Good Help

    It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

    Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

    Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

    Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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    You Pull Together as a Team

    Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

    Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

    Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

    Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

    Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

    Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

    Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

    Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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    Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

    Your Career Shines Bright

    Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

    Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

    When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

    Final Thoughts

    At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

    At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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    Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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