Here’s a ditty about Jack and Diane. One random Wednesday, Diane meandered into Jack’s office and said, “I just need to tell you I’m not feeling it anymore. I don’t feel inspired these days — and honestly? I’m on the verge of quitting.” (In response, Jack scratched his head and did his best James Dean.)
Ok, so that would never happen. Most of us probably dream about being that honest, or even dream about quitting on days (or weeks) we’re stuck in a rut. But we don’t. We carry the secret around and wait for the solution to present itself.
Are you just not feeling it at work? Maybe you’re not jibing with a new client. Perhaps you’re not feeling the love from your boss. Maybe the work or your company just doesn’t excite you like it once did. Whatever it is, and you’re not exactly sure what it is, you’re not feeling it.
This “not feeling it” phenomenon may be a new experience for you, or maybe you’ve been carrying it around for some time. It could be you’ll snap out of it rather quickly. For a little while, this “out of sorts” feeling or boredom may not have an impact on your work, but you run the risk of negatively impacting your personal brand if it settles in for too long.
Here are three ideas on what to do when you’re just not feeling it at work:
- Quickly take stock of the last time you took a day off. Chances are, it has been a long time. Even if you have a vacation planned a couple months from now, it’s time to take at least a day off. I’m not talking about doing that “work from home” thing either. I’m talking about a real day off in which you unplug, keep your laptop in your bag, and resist the urge to peek at your phone. This isn’t a day for errands or scratching items off your to-do list either. It’s a day for you to recharge and reflect. Go to a museum. Enjoy that long lunch you keep meaning to schedule with an old friend. Go for a long walk. Do anything that takes you out of your normal routine and gives you an opportunity to rest and reflect and see what comes from the day.
- Think about that thing, that one special something you’ve been dreaming about but just haven’t found the time. Maybe it’s a sailing vacation. Maybe it’s a class you’d love to take but keep putting it off (cake decorating, anyone?). Perhaps you’d love to volunteer and work with kids. Now is the time to sign up. It’s likely you would benefit from external interests to help you relax and breathe new ideas into your life and, as a result, also into your work.
- Remember that hobby you loved as a child? Maybe it’s time you got back in touch with something you have long since put aside. A few years ago, a client of mine, through coaching, remembered his love of drawing and architecture. He had forgotten over many years of pursuing his demanding career how much he enjoyed drawing and sketching. As a result of this re-discovery, he was able to feed this valuable insight into research to start his own company. Where is he today? In his first season as the owner of his own small business, where sketching and architecting are key to his craft. He couldn’t be happier. While he has a ton of work ahead to get his small business off the ground, he’s happier in his work than he has ever been because he found a way to incorporate a past love into a new career.
These ideas represent more than just recommendations. They represent opportunity. From this list, after taking up one of the recommendations, see what materializes for you. What opportunity is there for you at work that you perhaps otherwise didn’t realize? What are you starting to realize about the lack of “oomph” you feel in your work? What’s next for you to do to reach for more and take your career growth to the next level?
– Jackie Simon