Leadership

Stuck in a rut? Find your joy at work with these 3 strategies

Oprah Winfrey once said that "Passion is energy." That excitement can fuel you, focus you and energize you.

Too many, unfortunately, have lost sight of their passion. As a result, they've lost touch with their purpose and joy. For them, work is just a chore and a constant list of tasks.

If you've fallen into this rut, don't be discouraged. You can still reconnect with what you love most and rediscover that passion, energy and excitement.

1. Reflect

Pause and take time to consider what brings you joy. Find a journal and set a timer so you can write for 5 minutes without stopping. When you do, respond to two questions: What you love doing most and what you love doing most at work. Is there any overlap between the two lists?

Take a few minutes more to reflect on what you've accomplished in your job so far. Ask yourself what makes you proud and how you've made your mark on your work and your team.

Let these responses flow out of you. Don't edit yourself and be careful not to judge what you write. Instead, be open to finding answers written on the pages. Your writing can help you understand what caused your passion to fade. It can also inspire you to reconnect with projects that once brought you joy.

2. Identify your challenges

Check in with your mindset. Take stock of the thoughts you have in just one hour. Are you sarcastic or positive? Do you focus on problems or solutions? What makes you feel optimistic?

Consider what you might crave or lack at work that might be fueling any negative thoughts. Are you overwhelmed with responsibilities and need focus or support? Do you simply not enjoy the kind of work you're doing? Are you just burnt out?

Be honest with yourself and clearly identify your unique problems. Understanding your challenges will help you to decide what actions you can take to overcome them.

3. Focus on joy

Find ways to make joy your focus. You might not be able to change every aspect about your role or workplace. However, there are likely parts of every task that make you feel proud and satisfied. Think about what makes you proud and avoid lingering on what makes you unhappy.

If there is a dream project you'd like to pick back up, make time for it. Be proactive and push aside self-doubt to go after what will make you happier. Often, trying something new can get you in a more engaged and positive mindset.

If you are not stimulated by your work, sign up for a class to learn a new skill. New skills honed in side projects can make you more valuable in your current role. They might even fuel a new career direction or promotion.

Remember: you don't need to let a temporary rut stunt your professional growth. Periodically reflect on your interests and passions to identify ways you can grow and feel engaged. When you understand and reconnect with what energizes you, you'll find your passion is restored.

Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City, serving high-net-worth individuals. She is also the chief investment officer and founder of LexION Alpha.

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