You go to work every day, and find yourself totally checked out. You just can’t bring yourself to care—let alone work. Your attitude has slipped. You can’t remember why you’re even doing what you’re doing.
There are a few different things that can cause you to feel like you don’t want to work anymore. Maybe you’re bored with your current job and feel like you’re not challenged anymore. Or maybe you’re dealing with some personal stressors outside of work that are affecting your attitude.
Trouble is: this can have a terrible impact on your career. Don’t let your current attitude impact your future reputation. Whatever the reason, here are ways to check in with yourself and determine the next steps of your life.
How to Fight Through Work Apathy
It’s normal to feel unmotivated and apathetic about work from time to time. We all have days (or even weeks) when we’d rather just stay in bed than go to work. However, if you find yourself feeling this way more days out of the week than not, this could be a sign of a bigger problem involving your mental health.
Here are a few strategies on how to combat a complete lack of interest in your job, or work fatigue.
1. Change your attitude.
If you treat your job as the bane of your existence, it might be time to rethink your attitude. Your attitude towards your position can make a world of difference to how you feel about what you do.
Try thinking about why you don’t want to work. Is it your job itself that’s the problem, or is it something else? If it’s your job, can you think of ways to make it more enjoyable? If it’s something else, can you find ways to deal with those feelings so they don’t affect your work?
It might also help to remember why you wanted to work in the first place. What are your goals and aspirations? What do you enjoy about working? Focusing on the positive aspects of your job can help you to re-evaluate how you feel about your job, and make your next steps clearer.
2. Reward yourself.
Even if you hate your job and are thinking of turning in your two week notice, it is still your responsibility to show up and complete your tasks. If you are struggling to figure out a way to be able to get through your day, setting small goals and rewarding yourself when you reach them can be a great way to motivate yourself.
If you finish working on that one task you’re dreading, allow yourself to grab coffee with a friend. If you finish a huge project, allow yourself to take a personal day and do something fun. These are not only ways to help yourself get through the work week, in the long term they also help you engage more in the activities and things you enjoy.
3. Talk to your boss.
If your work makes you feel unchallenged or uninspired, consider having a conversation with your boss about moving forward, taking on more interesting work, or shifting to another department. If you feel exhausted, it may be time to discuss your needs and how you can improve work-life balance.
While it can be difficult to work up the courage to meet with your boss, setting up the meetings now will help you realize your best future in the long term.
What to Do If You Plan to Quit Your Job
If you’re sure it’s the job and not your problem, start strategizing about your next steps. The worst thing you can do is rely on a job you hate just because you have to stay afloat or you’ve let inertia get the better of you.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you find yourself a job situation that lets you live a life you actually like.
1. Rethink your priorities.
Many of us work and stay in our jobs to make a living. While it is critical to save money and get your personal finances in order before you quit a job, it is also important to take a step back and re-evaluate what money means to you. A lot of us have been taught that we need to make a lot of money in order to be happy. But that’s not necessarily true.
If you’re not happy with your current job, it may be time to think about ways to make more meaningful use of your time and talents. There are plenty of people who have found ways to make a living doing something they love. So, don’t be afraid to explore your options.
Figure out which is more important to you—money, or time. If money is your priority, you’ll never free yourself from the rat race. If time is, then it’s time to start prioritizing the things that matter. Once you’ve made the decision, there are plenty of resources available to help you make a successful transition.
2. Reach out for support
When you feel like you don’t want to work anymore, it’s important to reach out to your support system. This could include friends, family, or a professional counselor. Talking about what you’re feeling can help you figure out why you’re feeling this way and how to address the root of the problem.
A difficult relationship with your job can deeply impact your mental health. If you’re struggling with burnout or depression, a therapist or counselor can help you to understand your emotions and find ways to deal with them. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
3. Prepare your next steps.
This is the most important thing. Once you understand why your position isn’t working for you, you need to take ownership of your next steps. Figure out a way to incorporate what you really care about into your professional life.
For example, think about what you would do with your time if you didn’t have to work. Would you travel? Spend more time with family and friends? Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about? There’s no wrong answer, but it’s important to have a plan so that you don’t end up feeling aimless and lost.
And if you’re not there yet, don’t worry. Just get the ball rolling. Start doing the work you’ll need to do to get there.
If you’re sure you don’t want to work anymore at your current workplace, start preparing for your next steps. Whether that is working full time, remotely or creating a side hustle to build a small business, there are many ways to create fulfilling career paths and earn money.
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