It happens to many of us. We start out in a job that we feel energized by and slowly over time we become less and less engaged. Does that sound like you? How did this happen?
Why you are less engaged at work
It could be one of a myriad of reasons:
– you become competent in the work and no longer feel challenged
– there’s not have enough variety in your daily tasks
– loss of connection to company culture
– your boss’s are unwilling to try new ideas
– too many ‘fires’ prevent you from completing meaningful projects
Categorize your regular activities
Take an inventory of the work you do on a daily basis. Pay attention to how you feel once you complete a task. What activities made you feel energized? Which ones seem to be an energy drain? Which activities engross you in a way that time seems to be moving at hyper-speed? Alternatively, pay attention to the days when you leave work and feel energy, especially the days that seemed like you were really busy.
Helpful tip: make a chart to retain and organize this information. List your tasks down the left side and make 4 columns. Simply mark an “x” in the columns that are appropriate. The columns can include:
– Good At It: would your peers say you are better than most at the task?
– Drains Energy: does the task take away your energy
– Neutral Energy: is your energy level unaffected after doing this task
– Energizes: does this task energize you
This should make it easier to identify the tasks you want more of and the ones to stay away from. The answers may surprise you.
Re-allocate your time and focus
Knowing more about what energizes you, may help you identify the work that you would like to focus on. It may also identify the work that you might be good at, but doesn’t bring you energy. Your next step is to make a plan to spend more time doing the energy-producing tasks. There may be some immediate steps you can take to do this, while other steps may take some help from your manager. However, just creating the plan to get you closer to that energizing work will bring you one step closer to having a career you are engaged in.
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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