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Stuck In A Rut? How to Beat Job Burnout and Put the Spark Back Into Your Career

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From the moment you saw the job posting you knew this job was the one—it was as if the job description was specifically designed to leverage your experiences, strengths, and passion for social change. It also seemed to provide the professional challenges and growth you were craving. You followed your heart and went for it, crafting the perfect cover letter and resume, and earning a job offer.

After the thrill of the first few days, however, things no longer feel the same. You are tired, overworked, and under-stimulated. Getting up in the morning is hard. The magic is gone. You just don’t know what to do.

One reason why many of us lose the passion for our work is because we get stuck in a rut. We get bored doing the same tasks day after day. However, you can retrieve the spark and motivation from the early days by taking on new projects at work that expose you to different elements of your organization. Here’s how:

How to beat job burnout

1. Identify your organization’s needs

Take an objective look at your organization to identify needs that are not being met. To do this, talk with people in different departments about the work they do and help they might need, or go to your manager and ask about new projects or challenges they need help with. Identify one or two that would be exciting for you to tackle.

2. Develop an action plan

After you have chosen the project or projects you want to tackle, develop an action plan. Think about how to handle the issue at hand and identify the key stakeholders and resources that you would need to successfully complete the project.

3. Get buy in

Meet with relevant stakeholders to explain your idea and get feedback. Depending on the nature of the project you’d like to do, this might be an ongoing process. Don’t worry! In order to be successful, it’s important to understand how your idea could potentially affect your co-workers.

In addition to having the support of your manager, it might also help to work with a senior employee so you can have a better sense of what’s happening across the organization, as well as advice on how to execute your project.

4. Be prepared to go the extra mile

To beat job burnout, you should be prepared to take on work that excites you, which may mean taking on new or additional duties. If you go this route, pay attention to how you're feeling to see if the new project is reinvigorating your passion or if you're doing more harm than good.

By seeing your organization in a new way and taking on new challenges, you can reinvent your role and reshape your relationship with your job. Take it one step at a time and you'll be on your way.

About The Author | Beatriz Mieses is a Certified Professional Coach and nonprofit professional with over 12 years of experience in the field. She currently has a coaching business, Welcoming My Beauty, helping women achieve their potential and create an existence that aligns with their Truth. She also serves as the training director for Hot Bread Kitchen a nonprofit that increases economic security for foreign-born and low-income women and men by opening access to the billion dollar specialty food industry. We do this through our culinary workforce and business incubation programs, Project Launch and HBK Incubates.

Beatriz has BA in Psychology from the City University of New York and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University, School of Public Administration.

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