6 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Job Again—and When to Call It Quits

Love is in the air! Or not. While Valentine’s Day gets a lot of hooplas and gives florists’ profits a healthy boost, it’s not for everyone. In fact, enough people get fed up with the over-emphasis on “happy couples” that the U.S. now has Singles Awareness Day (yes, the acronym is SAD) and China has Singles’ Day when single people spend a lot of money on themselves in protest—as in billions of dollars.

But being single amid red balloons and dark chocolates isn’t the only thing that can bring you down. So can being unhappy at work. And a lot of people are just that. According to Gallup, 85 percent of workers worldwide and 70 percent of Americans are unhappy with their jobs. This dissatisfaction with the activity that takes up the bulk of our hours and days, weeks and months, year in and year out takes a toll on our physical health, our productivity, and—not surprisingly—our relationships. (Hello, Singles Awareness Day!) 

Does it have to be that way? While some argue that this workplace unhappiness is the result of old school management practices that haven’t kept pace, and others cite a multitude of reasons, we believe that there is a way to light that ignites that spark once again and enjoy your job, even if it’s not a perfect one. 

If you’ve fallen out of love with your job or career and you want to look forward to your morning commute once again, try these six tips. 

1. Have an attitude of gratitude

There’s a saying: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.” This universal truth applies to every area of our lives, from our personal relationships to our jobs. Find reasons to be grateful for your job, and you might enjoy it more. What’s good about your job? What do you enjoy? If that doesn’t work, try having an attitude of gratitude for the paycheck you receive that enables you to have a roof over your head and food on the table.  

2. Find a mentor

Sometimes you’re unhappy at work because you’re stuck in a rut, feeling like the hamster on the wheel—or worse, the one stuck hanging there when the other hamster takes over. Find a mentor and see if that helps. A mentor can help you understand the bigger picture of an organization so your job makes more sense to you, or give you career advice, or simply encourage you. One study found mentoring increased job satisfaction rates for nurse practitioners. Perhaps it can help your job satisfaction rate too! 

3. Get involved in a professional organization

Speaking of being in a rut, sometimes a change in environment can help you fall in love with your job again. Joining a professional organization is a way to get out of the workplace, meet other people, attend events, and even learn from industry experts brought in as speakers. To get more out of the experience, try volunteering. 

4. Set some goals

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there? Or know when you’ve arrived? Setting goals will help re-engage you with your job and your career. Goals give you a focus and allow you to measure progress. They can pull your attention away from the negative and get you working toward the positive instead. Goals can be as simple as earning a certification or as lofty as getting a promotion. It matters less what the goal is and more that you set some. however, do make sure they’re attainable. Consider setting SMART goals, meaning goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound, to increase your chances of succeeding. 

5. Learn new skills

To fall in love with your job again, try learning new skills. Maybe your company hasn’t kept up with technology and you’re doing tasks the same old way, but learning a brand new way will re-invigorate you—and impress your boss. Think about it: If work seems like drudgery, learning a new way to go about your tasks will make it seem like a new job. Or maybe learning new skills will show your boss you’re more engaged and therefore able to take on new responsibilities or be considered for a promotion. 

6. Take care of yourself

Sometimes our attitude about work is not caused by the job, but by overall poor health—and that can make everything seem bleak and hopeless, not just work. When you’re getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet, your energy level will go up and your attitude will improve. This could be all it takes to fall in love with your job again! 

Know when it’s time to quit

Despite all the advice above, however, sometimes a job—like a relationship—is simply going nowhere and it’s time to move on. Signs it’s time to quit your job include procrastinating and not working, you can’t speak up at work, a negative company culture, no opportunities to advance, your friends are tired of hearing you complain about work, or you dread getting out of bed in the morning and facing yet one more day. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to fall in love with your job again, but plenty of reason to find a new one. 

We spend one-third of our lives at work. Do we really want to spend all that time in a job we abhor? Or can we learn to love our jobs again? Relationships go through ups and downs, and couple weather those storms to come out stronger in the end. So too can your job or career seem to have highs and lows, and learning how to get through those lows can help you enjoy your work more—even if you’re still spending February 14th drowning your single sorrows in a scotch and soda.

About the Author

Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

Nikita Duggal holds an honors degree in English language and literature and is working with Simplilearn as a content writer. She is a passionate digital nomad who loves all sorts of writing. In her free time, she is a veteran of poetry and philosophy.

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