5 Tips To Find Fulfillment (Again) At Work

Many of us have experienced job dissatisfaction at some point. The passion and interest that we once felt for our work are gone, and have been replaced with boredom, dissatisfaction, and the feeling that we've lost our way, professionally. We may consider a job switch, and or even a new career involving significant upheaval and change.

I have many clients who experience job dissatisfaction. Many wonder if the feeling has more to do more with themselves, than with the actual job environment. Certainly it's wise first to look within, to understand how to find fulfillment again at work.

1. To start, take a look at your values. 

Our professional values define who we are, and why we work. When we lose sight of our values, we become dissatisfied. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the values that led you to your current profession?
  • Why were you attracted to the work, and what did you expect to get out of it?

When you’ve answered those questions, note your values. You may have been interested in challenging projects, making a contribution, or learning how to manage complex projects. Once you’ve made a list of key values, see if you can reconnect with them again, and look for ways to instill them back into your current role.

2. Rediscover your passions.

What makes you enthusiastic and excited at work, and makes you feel aligned to a greater purpose?Organize your work around the things that create a strong passion in you, and your contentment and energy will increase significantly. If you can’t re-create passion at work, focus on finding your passions in your free time. At times we need an outlet for our creative passion to feel a new energy about the rest of life.

3. Focus on your strengths. 

Understand which talents and skills you have, and look for ways to maximize the use of these strengths in your role or organization. Create opportunities for yourself to shine by using your strengths. Perhaps over time your role in the organization has shifted, and you don’t spend much of your day utilizing your strongest skills.

Operating from a place of weakness creates frustration. Try to reorganize the work you do to put your strengths at the forefront, or talk with your boss about how you can be better utilized for your strengths.

4. Take a hard look at the obstacles you create to your own success and happiness.

What habits or behaviors do you have that are an impediment to success? If you are a poor listener or a weak team player, note it -- and make a promise to yourself to change. If you need certain skills or education to advance, consider pursuing it now. Human nature resists change.

Be honest about your personal limitations, and make a plan to work through them positively. When we find new ways of showing up to our work, challenges and frustrations can fall away.

5. Finally, cultivate attitude of mindfulness, with awareness to the present moment without judgment or reactivity. 

Studies have shown that mindfulness at work improves job satisfaction and reduces emotional exhaustion. When we are stressed or feeling overworked, the mental chatter in the brain tends to increase, and we may spend more time talking about our work than doing it. We find ourselves caught in a pattern of negative thinking.

Learn to quiet the mind, and focus on the present moment and what is in front of you. Approach challenges calmly, resisting the urge to judge and react; just have awareness of your thoughts and emotions. When attention to a task starts to fall off, find time for a few minutes of meditation or a productive break, such as taking a walk outside.

There are times when we truly outgrow an organization. If your values no longer fit within the culture, your strengths are not appreciated or utilized, and no matter how much positive energy you bring to each day, you are still frustrated and unhappy, it may be time for you to move on.

Your chances of finding fulfillment in your next role will be greater if you are clear on the unique values, passions, strengths that define your professional fulfillment.

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