Get That Lovin’ Feeling Back at Work
Roses are red, violets are blue, I really love the work I get to do!
Our work lives can be very romantic and I don’t mean this in the get-HR-involved kind of way. I mean this in the get-up-early, inspired-by-the-people-around-you, driven-by-the-clients, excited-by-the-mission kind of way. Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you felt like this about your work life?
I’m sure we all have dated, or worked for, a person who asked too much of us (I’m not alone here, right?!) It was all give on our part and we never really felt like what we were getting in return was worth the blood, sweat, and ALL the tears. So, how do we know when we have found THE ONE? The right work environment? The right boss or best colleagues?
Speed Dating for the one
The funny thing about jobs is that we essentially go from speed dating to marriage immediately. We have one, two, or maybe three (sometimes all virtually) interviews and then they pop the question: Will You Work For Me?
Tears flow (because the pay was too low or the PTO wasn’t right) and we call our mentor and talk through it. Is this the one?! It all happened so fast. And what can make this worse, sometimes we’re currently in a committed (though somewhat horrible) relationship and we will need to leave them for this new prospect. Are they worth it?
Stop. Breathe. It’s just a job. We’ll only spend about 25-30 years of our lives working; this isn’t that big of a commitment. This isn’t forever.
But we should treat it like it is.
Treat your job like a marriage
Here’s the thing about our work lives: they’re just like any relationship, they’ll change over time and require mental and emotional work. We’ll all be completely head-over-heels for it in that initial honeymoon phase (hopefully our on-boarding is in Hawaii or Tahiti). And then the honeymoon phase will end and we will be in the daily grind.
We might have fallen in love with the actual work we do, or maybe it was the boss (queue HR) or maybe it was the colleagues or the view of the river from the office. Hopefully, it was all of the above. If it was all of these, the good news is that we usually won’t fall out of love with them all at the same time.
We will have a fight with a colleague, but we can go sit in our office and look at the river to re-ground. We may get yelled at by a client, but we can go vent to our work-wife/husband and feel validated in our responses. Hopefully, we chose a workplace that has a support system. If we didn’t, then we probably need to start speed-dating again.
If you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, we wanted to share a few ways to get it back. Sometimes a little couples therapy is necessary!
Get that lovin’ feeling back in your work
1. Remember your personal values.
At Idealist Consulting, we are centered around some pretty great values as a company. You should have your own set written down somewhere to go back to and make sure you are engaged in work that reflects those, too. Hopefully this reminds you why you started working in your current environment and this will relight that flame of passion in your work.
2. Talk to your mentor.
This is like talking to your BFF when you are dating. You need to have someone outside the relationship to remind you that not everyday is horrible or not everyone is Prince Charming or Lady Love. Your mentor is there to give you professional feedback based on your interests, not the company you are working for.
3. Be honest with your boss.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask if there is something that can be taken off your plate, even if just for a short time. If you are feeling unchallenged, ask for more responsibility. If you are unhappy, don’t just go cheat on your boss and then leave; have an honest dialogue with them first. It is in their best interest to maintain a healthy and happy relationship with you, too.
4. Practice self care.
You can only be your best self and give to others if you are healthy and happy. Take days off when you need them, and not just weeks off in the summer for that big trip you planned. Say no if and when you need to.
5. Ask for help.
There is no shame in asking for help, especially at work. If you notice those around you aren’t doing this, start the trend. But be aware of when you need help and consider setting some rules to follow for when you become overwhelmed.
On this Valentine’s Day, I am sending chocolate, cards, and flowers out to all you fellow work and colleague-lovers of mine.
My work life is pretty romantic. Actually, my work environment is pretty dreamy (the fridge is pretty full, the chocolate drawer is somewhat stocked today and my colleagues brought in elementary-style hearts and cards). I hope you are just as lucky as I am. If not, get out there! Speed date and find THE ONE. It is out there waiting for you to find the lovin’ feeling again.
Maybe we’re just what you’ve been waiting for. Idealist Consulting has several open positions- let’s see if we’d be a perfect match.