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Lost passion for your job? 3 tips to find it again!

“Every job has an expiration date.” I don’t know who first said it, but most of us have experienced it first hand. You dread going to work, sleepwalk through your day, and come home exhausted. “I wake up every morning and wonder how I’ll get through the day,” a once energetic business owner said to me this week. “I can’t wait to come home and have the day be over.”

Many people get stuck here, unhappy with what they do all day, but unclear about how to find something new.

Here are three tips to find work that rekindles your passion:

  1. 1.    Get happy. It’s hard to even think about what you’d rather be doing when you spend all day being unhappy at work. Nearly every person who comes to me for career coaching feels flat, even depressed. “I’ve never felt this low,” one client shared with me, his voice tight with sadness and frustration.An important step is to rekindle your joy for life. Joy is attractive and contagious—it makes you more attractive to potential employers and more fun for people to help you along the way.

    Here’s one way to help yourself get happy again: notice what delights you through each of your five senses. Take an inventory of large and small things that you love to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. Look for ways to bring some of these things into your life, every day. For example, one woman I know puts fresh flowers on her desk at work. The sight and scent lift her spirits. Another woman has pictures of her kids on her desk; looking at them brings her joy. When I’m stuck in an office building all day long, I make sure to get out for a walk, no matter what.

  2. 2.    Notice what you love doing. Most people want to jump right into action: how and where will I find work I like better? It’s the biggest mistake you can make. If you don’t take stock of what you love doing, how can you go looking for it? The Passion Discovery Worksheet is one way to take stock of what you love doing so that you can find work that’s a perfect match.
  3. 3.    Talk it Up to find new opportunities. Once you’re clear on what you love doing, share it with people. I call this Talk it Up. You never know what great ideas they might have on how and where to find work you love.You have an opportunity whenever someone asks, “How are you?” or “What do you do?” Share highlights of what you’ve discovered you want; for example, “I’m great! I’ve figured out I’m ready to do something new. It’s something about…”  Or, “I’ve been an [old role] for many years, but I’m now looking to do…”

    For example, a client who was interested in pursuing a new career in nutritional counseling talked it up with a colleague over lunch. His wife turned out to be in school for the same thing. My client got lots of great advice and new options to explore. Another client of mine thought he’d have to leave his company to pursue his new interest, but when colleagues found out they helped him find an opening in the same company.

Are there things you can do to rekindle your passion inside and outside of your workplace this week? Share in the comments section below!

About Jane: Jane Cavanaugh is an internationally acclaimed business leadership and career coach who has helped more than 6,000 professionals develop their career and leadership skills. Jane is creator of The Passionate Professional: How to Make Your Ordinary Career Extraordinary, a guided career transition program, and a co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life. Contact or visit Jane at www.janecavanaugh.com

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Success Stories

Karianne Holguin, Managing Director
Process Management and Analysis

Success Story: “My executive coaching time with Jane was some of the most valuable hours I have spent as a leader. The experience was not about ‘performance needs improvement,’ but about growing oneself to the next level of leadership, stretching oneself to be the best one can be. It provided great insight to things I knew about myself, personally, but didn’t know were ‘showing up’ at the office. I continue to use what I learned every day, and I, and others, can see the difference this level of coaching has made.”