I’ve been feeling blah about my job for quite a while. I’d rate my pay, coworkers, customers, boss, the whole deal, as good. What do you think? Am I just ungrateful? Do I need a therapist?
Hello and thanks for the great question.
You’re speaking for all of us at one time or another, so this question merits quick response. It’s vitally important to reduce stagnation when it creeps in, rather than to let your spirit die.
Thomas Moore (1800s Irish singer-songwriter) observed, “when soul is neglected, it doesn’t just go away. It appears symptomatically in obsession, addiction, violence, and loss of meaning. ” This feeling of loss of joy in your work can likely be remedied, or at least remediated.
The study of human work motivation investigates three variables: the direction in which we choose to expend effort, the intensity with which we act, and how persistent we are over time. The effect of burnout is evident in many aspects of life and limits the ability to find meaning in daily tasks. Just as importantly, it impacts cardio and other types of physical health,
quality of your relationships, your reputation, and more. Don’t ignore symptoms of burnout!
Take some quiet time to answer these 4 questions. Let ideas flow without judging your responses. When you finish, you’ll be less stuck and have a plan for
- What do I like most in (as of today) about my work life and work environment?
- What don’t I like about work life and work environment – what burdens me these days?
- What would I most like to see change or begin to change in the coming year (compiled from my answers to question 2)?
- In that case, how my I have to change or what will I have to do differently? Also, what might I need from others (employer, colleagues, clients, employees, etc.?)
Please stay in the game as communicator. Ask for projects you want, organize a fun team activity away from work, express concerns, praise others for effort you make time to notice, ask for information, cross-training, mentorship – work the problem. Try to keep a growth mindset (“It’s not always going to be like this”). You make thousands of decisions each day, of small and great importance. Allow one of them to be trying a different tactic, deviating from your norm.
Finally, you asked if you should see a therapist. Never