15 Ways to Stay Career Motivated When Work Just Isn’t Fun

career motivatedEven at a dream job, your work won’t always be fun. And even at the best of companies, you won’t always feel inspired to do your best work. During those times, think you can expect other people to keep you career motivated? Think again.

Instead, keep in mind that your job and career are up to you… and no one cares about these as much as you do!

Try some of these ideas to kick-start your daily mojo and help you stay career motivated!

1. Know What Motivates You

Finding your motivation requires a little thought and reflection. In order to be motivated, you have to know what triggers it. Take some time to ask yourself these questions and then you can use the right strategies below to keep you career motivated.

  • What gets me motivated?
  • What stops or reduces my motivation?
  • Are there tangible reminders I can use to stay motivated?
  • What obstacles might sabotage my motivation and what can I do to overcome them?
  • What habits can I create to increase my motivation?

When you understand what motivates (and demotivates) you, you can take proactive measures to infuse your work with the things you can control and that energize you.

2. Stop Sweating the Small Things

There are certain things you just can’t control, like your boss’s last-minute requests for information. Every day there are things that probably irk you, but don’t let those negative feelings sap your motivation. One way to stay career motivated and drive out the negative feelings is to stay focused on achieving your own goals and your priorities.

3. Find (and stay in) Your Zone

When you’re in the zone you produce some of your best work. Think about how you can create the ideal environment to do your best work. Do you need music? Bring in headphones and your favorite motivational playlist. Do you need sunlight? Find a sunny spot and use your laptop.

4. Check Items Off Your To-Do List

Creating a to-do list doesn’t just keep you focused on your most important priorities. It also feels good to check items off your list when completed. Just as important, placing those checkmarks on your list encourages you to move on to the next thing. So go ahead, start doing the important things on your to-do list.

5. Choose To Hang With Productive People

Associating with productive individuals allows you to observe them in action; it also allows you to pick up some of their healthy productivity hacks. Bonus: because productive employees tend to be more positive, some of their optimism may rub off on you, too.

6. Get In Tune With The Big Picture

If you understand how your work contributes to the bigger picture or company goals, that may make a difference. So make sure you know exactly how the quality of your work helps your colleagues, the customers, and the company. After all, knowing the work you do is worthwhile certainly keeps most of us career motivated.

7. Know When To Ask For Feedback

There are times you need feedback. And there are certainly times when you don’t. If you are in need of a boost of motivation, asking for feedback on something you think you did well can be just the fix you need. Even if you aren’t ready to listen to the thoughts of others, celebrate your ability to work independently.

8. Reward Yourself

Learn what it takes to get yourself to complete dreaded tasks. Then set up a system of rewards for completion. Knowing you have a reward at the end of a task may help you drive through and complete it faster. Your reward can be downtime, a walk, food or whatever treat you know makes you feel good! (Maybe that holiday-themed coffee drink that both motivates and wakes you up?)

9. Incorporate Variety Into Your Day

Don’t feel trapped by the monotony of your work and workplace. After all, there is always an opportunity to add variety. Drive to work a new way, reverse your daily routine, eat lunch somewhere other than your desk or find some way to get out of your cube to see and do new things.

10. Have More Fun

If you want to find a way to stay career motivated, make work more fun. It sounds simple, but often you get sidetracked by the drudgery of work. Instead, recognize what can be fun at work. It might be a lunch break with co-workers, a brainstorming session after a meeting or a chat with an employee you can learn from. There are already things in your day you enjoy. So make time to participate in these activities.

11. Log Off

If you’re stressed and feel like you can’t escape work, you need to set a cutoff time. Checking email as you commute home or when you wake up in the morning isn’t going to help alleviate feeling overwhelmed. Commit to yourself that you will not check email outside of working hours.

12. Practice Generosity

Some of us like to feel we are making a difference in the world. If this is important to you, look for ways, inside and also outside your organization, to volunteer for a cause you care about. And if your organization doesn’t have any philanthropic opportunities? This may be your chance to start one with other employees.

13. Learn New Things

Teach yourself how to do something new. Let the creative juices flow! Maybe you’ve always wanted to improve your Excel skills, for example. Or work on your networking or presentation skills. For almost every new skill, you can either tap a colleague or mentor, or sign up for a class. Go ahead… expand your comfort zones. After all, learning new skills doesn’t just improve your productivity… it and has a way of making you feel good about yourself.

14. Take A Break

When you find yourself low on motivation, pushing through may not be the answer to getting your best work done. Take a 15-minute break and indulge in your favorite Pinterest recipes or see what’s happening in the news.

15. Start An Idea Folder

Whether it is a book you want to read or a side project you’ve wanted to tackle, your list can serve as your go-to spot for inspiration that will benefit you and keep you going.

Don’t let your work get you down! Stay career motivated! Take control!


For this post , YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa.


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Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!



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