You get up in the morning. Your excitement for going to work is about a 3 on a scale of 1–10. You’re pretty sure your boss is out of the office, hence it not being the regular 2. How did you get to this point?!?
I’m going to be blunt — it’s not healthy for your mind or body when you don’t give a shit about something as important as your livelihood. Sure, there are cases when apathy is a good thing — such as the paperboy throwing the Sunday paper into the flowerbed. In other cases, it’s a slippery slope that can cause you to fall face-first into full-blown depression.
Well, your body and brain like to really mess with you as a whole when you are stressed— the brain producing chemicals that affect your nervous system which in turn sends other stress signals... It’s a nonstop cycle that will keep perpetuating unless you derail it.
First off, you need to figure out why you have such a crappy attitude towards work. It sounds oversimplified, but make a two-columned list — in the first column list all of the positive things about your job. In the second one, list all of the negative things. If you’re feeling apathetic towards your work, it’s likely that the negatives list is a lot longer than the positives list.
Read through both — in the negatives list, are you seeing a recurring theme, such as a co-worker that you don’t get along with and their associated behaviors? Maybe it’s the cramped quarters of the cubicle farm they’ve moved your division to? It’s important to really pinpoint what is at the root of your displeasure. Then take note of what you do like.
Derailing the Apathy Train
The only way you’re going to get out of your workplace funk is to become proactive in doing so. If you really want to keep your job, you need to figure out what it’s going to take to achieve this.
Here are a few tips for refreshing your attitude:
- Find some part of your job you love. Then focus on it. Do you enjoy client interfacing? Find ways to do it more. Enjoy the development of programs? Get in on it as much as possible. There will always be tons of other tasks to undertake, but finding something that gets your mojo going will help bring you back into your happy place.
- Talk it out with a friend. Sometimes just airing your concerns and grievances will help you gain new perspective. If possible, find someone outside of work to talk to — rumor mills can be the death of your career if your kvetching reaches the wrong ears!
- Engage with your coworkers more. If you tend to eat lunch alone, try finding a lunch partner or small group. If you are invested in the people you work with, you’re more likely to find job satisfaction, as you’re all working toward a central goal.
- If there is something truly amiss, such as workplace or legal violations, take it through the proper channels. Sitting on it can be detrimental to not only you, but those around you.
- If you truly just don’t get along with your job, consider moving on. Just like relationships, not every job is going to be the perfect fit. If it’s making you miserable, it’s likely you’re putting the same back into workplace mojo.