Work is work. I don’t know that it’s meant to be fully enjoyed or fulfilling or anything like that. Work is great. It can bring wonderful things to your life. It can provide safety and balance. But obviously it can swing too far into the direction of obsession.
And it’s certainly possible that work can get you down. This is very common. Work can burn us out. It can also just make us feel unhappy. We don’t look forward to doing it. We don’t necessarily resent it or even dislike it. It’s just kind of there and we’re going through the motions.
Here are some things that may help in this situation.
1. Find Someone To Help
It generally makes us feel good to help others. Now, you have to be careful with this one. You want to find someone that genuinely seems to be struggling with something and also that wants help. That’s not always the case. You don’t want to go around offering unsolicited help. That is selfish.
But start paying attention to those you’re working with. Look for signs of struggle. Interact. See if there is an opening to offer help and then step in and do it. Make them look good. Don’t look for credit or thanks. You will feel good internally if you help someone else out.
2. Find Someone To Listen To
I’ve found that when I’m feeling off it’s good to have conversations with others. For a variety of reasons. One is that you get another’s perspective on life and in this case, on work. You might find that others are struggling just like you. Or you may find that they see the positives in the work. It can bring a new perspective to what you’re doing.
And in some cases you’ll find that the other person is really appreciative that someone wants to listen to them. In this way, you’re helping them and that will make you feel good.
Be careful not to interject too much. If the person is sharing their situation, don’t jump in and tell them about something that you think relates that happened to you. Resist that urge and listen and ask questions.
3. Talk To A Stranger
There are probably people that you work with that you’ve never met. Or maybe you’ve met, but you’ve never really had a conversation with them. If you’re feeling a little bit down take some time out to introduce yourself. It doesn’t have to be a deep conversation or anything like that. But introduce yourself. Ask a few questions. See where the conversation leads.
First conversations can be fun and exciting. They get us out of our comfort zone. There is a bit of adrenaline involved. That can get you feeling energized about work again.
4. Remove The Perfection of a Frustrating Task
Maybe there is a task or two that really brings you down at work. You may not be able to avoid them entirely. But maybe you’re overthinking the task. Maybe you’re going too far in the way of perfection. Consider that you may be able to put in a little less effort to get the same or possibly even better result.
See how others perform the task. Talk to your boss and see how they would like to see the task.
I remember when I first started working in the corporate world that I was repeating a task every month in a spreadsheet. I never looked forward to it. Then one day my coworker came in and saw how I was doing it and said something to the effect that I was doing it in much more detail than was necessary. Then I asked my boss and he confirmed.
I had no idea. But from that point on the task became less frustrating for sure.
5. Thank A Coworker
Think back to a recent time when a coworker helped you out with something. You probably thanked them for it at the time. But go back and thank them again. Or maybe it’s more of an ongoing thing. A coworker does particularly good work that really helps you with what you’re doing. Take the time to thank them for it. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top.
Gratitude often brings out the best in us.
Work can get us all down a little bit sometimes. That’s the nature of work. It can be fulfilling at times. But even then we don’t always look forward to it. You have to find the rewarding aspects of work sometimes. And what I’ve found is that these things and others can often help with that.