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Work, Be My Valentine? 3 Ways To Fall Back In Love With Your Job

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David M. Brenner, ChFC®, CLU®

D. M. Brenner, Inc.
Phone : (858) 345-1001
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Work can sometimes feel like a monotonous treadmill, draining our enthusiasm and leaving us yearning for the days when we were excited to tackle new challenges. But fear not! We draw inspiration from Self-Determination Theory (SDT), one of the most established motivation theory, which originated in the 1980s. We’ll explore three powerful ways to reignite that spark and fall back in love with your work.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 14: A man carries a bunch of ballons as he walks down Union Street on Valentine's Day on February 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Valentine's Day is actually a Catholic church sanctioned holiday, as Pope Gelasius deemed February 14, St. Valentine's Day, near 498 A.D. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Innovation through Autonomy at Work: Paving Your Unique Path

You feel like your job has been more of the same over the past few months. You are bored. But you are forgetting your own power to shape your work. Imagine a canvas where you hold the brush—if you have retake autonomy to do your work, you can also find new ways of doing:

Challenge the Status Quo : Break free from the monotony. Seek opportunities to innovate, whether it’s streamlining processes, suggesting new approaches and practices, or experimenting with novel ideas. Remember, innovation isn’t reserved for tech wizards; it’s a mindset accessible to all and it does start with what may seem like every day mundane work.

Design Your Workday : Craft your ideal workday. Negotiate flexible schedules, work-from-home options, or project ownership. Autonomy isn’t about rebellion; it’s about aligning work with your unique rhythm, and with your own personal routines.

Celebrate Small Wins : Acknowledge your victories, no matter how minor. Autonomy fuels motivation, and celebrating progress keeps the fire burning. Share your wins with colleagues—they’ll appreciate your enthusiasm and might even join you on your next project to reshape your organization and its purpose.

Community Amid Uncertainty: Building Bonds

In times of uncertainty—hello, global pandemics and market upheavals— community becomes our anchor. Here’s how to foster meaningful connections to remotivate ourselves at work:

Coffee Breaks and Virtual Hangouts : Don’t underestimate the power of a virtual coffee break. Schedule informal chats with colleagues. Share stories, laugh, and discuss non-work topics. These moments build camaraderie and remind us that we’re not alone in this turbulent sea.

Collaborative Projects : Team up! Collaborate on projects that transcend departmental boundaries. Cross-functional teams bring fresh perspectives and ignite creativity. Plus, shared wins strengthen our sense of belonging.

Mentorship and Reverse Mentorship : Seek mentors who inspire you. And it does not need to be formal, even informal relationships can play a role with limited commitment. Their wisdom can guide you through choppy waters. And don’t forget reverse mentorship—learn from more junior colleagues. Their fresh outlook can rejuvenate your perspective and remind you why you started this career in the first place.

Skills Mastery: Fueling Competence

SDT emphasizes the importance of competence —the feeling of mastery and growth. Here’s how to experience and the make the most of growth opportunities at work:

Continuous Learning : Invest in your skills. Attend workshops, take online courses, or read industry blogs. Learning isn’t a one-time event; it’s a lifelong journey. The more you know, the more confident and engaged you’ll feel.

Stretch Assignments : Volunteer for challenging projects. Stretch assignments push you beyond your comfort zone, accelerating your learning curve. Embrace the discomfort—it’s a sign you’re growing.

Feedback Loop : Seek feedback like a treasure hunter. What can you do better and how will this help? Constructive criticism helps you refine your skills. And remember, feedback isn’t a personal attack; it’s a stepping stone toward excellence.

Rediscovering passion at work isn’t an elusive dream. By embracing autonomy, nurturing community, and mastering skills, you’ll transform your workplace into a canvas of inspiration. So go ahead—paint your masterpiece!

I am grateful for my colleague Ruth Watson for suggesting this theme!

By Thomas Roulet, Contributor

© 2024 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved

This Forbes article was legally licensed through AdvisorStream.

David M. Brenner profile photo

David M. Brenner, ChFC®, CLU®

D. M. Brenner, Inc.
Phone : (858) 345-1001
Schedule a Meeting