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“Help - I don’t enjoy my job!”

Published:Monday | July 6, 2015 | 1:32 PM

Question: I am facing a challenge in my career right now, which I need your advice on. It has to do with the low level of interest I feel about what I do. I really don't enjoy my job. My main goal right now is in getting a promotion.

- L. Henry

Careers: The challenge you're facing in your career right now is significant in its implications. Your concern is justified; your commitment to address it commendable. After all, you spend about a third of your life either at work or on work-related activities such as travel, study and training.

Boredom and unhappiness at work are almost certain to create a sense of general life dissatisfaction. That's because it's practically impossible to completely compartmentalise our lives.

Yes, it is true that much can be done to limit negative realities in one area, such as career, from affecting other areas, such as marriage and family, health and relationships. However, some adverse consequences are inevitable. It is therefore imperative that you get a handle on this problem of lack of interest in your job.

The solution to that problem starts with you. Clarify why you've lost interest at work. Have you lost your passion for work because of low pay? Have you become bored because of mindless routine and lack of challenging work assignments?

Deep down, would you rather be elsewhere, doing otherwise, rather than sticking around for the security of a pay cheque? Think through the real reason for the low level of interest you feel about your work. Write it down.

Here's a crucial distinction to make and apply if job enjoyment is your goal: You decide how much interest you feel toward your job.

Interest and enthusiasm are not merely experienced, they are generated. It's not pay or other external work conditions that ultimately determine your level of passion. It's your attitude and approach to what you do. These are completely up to you.

Adopt a more interested approach to work. In what ways can you improve yourself, and your job performance? Where is there room for improvement at your workplace that you can do something about? How can you be more supportive and inspiring to your co-workers?

Know for yourself

Please sit down and write your answers to these questions. If you do, you may experience an immediate change in your level of passion and motivation for your job. That's because the more energy, attention and enthusiasm we give to our work, the more excited we feel.

Now, it might be that there's another career path you feel attracted to. If so, design a career transition plan with help from a career counsellor, if necessary. However, you still need to practise passion in your current job. Changing jobs or careers is not really the ultimate answer to losing your interest at work; changing your mindset and attitude toward work is.

One likely result of an improved work attitude may be an improvement in your job performance. Your superiors will notice your increased enthusiasm and productivity. That might very well result in them considering you for that promotion you desire.

n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power', and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.