There are many reasons why a person’s career idles, but it will likely happen to just about everyone at some point. Personal issues, an economic crisis, a creativity block or financial trouble are just a few factors that might cause a person to lose their passion for work.
Realizing that your career has stalled or that you’ve lost passion for something you once loved to do can be frightening and overwhelming. It’s enough to send some people into despair and depression. Here, a group of Young Entrepreneur Council members weigh in with advice on what they would do—or have done—when faced with the same problem.
1. Set Goals For The Future
I have felt this way before when I first began my business. Things were slow in the beginning and I began to doubt myself. What I did to overcome it was to map out where I wanted to be in the next three, six and nine months through the use of goal-setting, and then I set goals for the longer term. This helped me regain my motivation. I followed my goals to completion and I got through that period of lost passion. It was a challenging but fruitful experience. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
2. Learn Something New
Before starting DML Capital, I could see my leader’s values did not align with mine. I felt I was not learning and became bored, and when that happens, the passion fades fast. This has been a recurring theme in my career whenever I stop learning. My advice would be to always be learning about your field. This could be researching new markets, testing new technologies, practicing new negotiation strategies, etc. Along the lines of personal learning, it is equally important to find mentors or some other support system (family, friends, peers) who continue to push you to tap into the learning process and move forward personally and professionally. We want to be the best in our field, and constant learning is paramount to reaching that goal. – Liam Leonard, DML Capital
3. Interview For Other Roles Or Positions
If you feel like you’ve hit a wall professionally, begin interviewing. There’s nothing that can provide a better perspective on your current situation than getting insight into other career opportunities and work cultures. This is often a path to advancement and greater compensation, but it can also provide periodic perspective advantages of your current role. Either way, it’s nothing to be afraid of. Scheduling a few interviews may be just what you need to realize that your current situation is actually a good one, or it lets you know that it truly is time to move forward with other professional endeavors. If nothing else, it’s a learning opportunity that helps solidify what your next career move should be and whether or not you should or shouldn’t do something else. – Tyler Quiel, Giggster
4. Remember Your ‘Why’
Get back to your roots. If I’m ever feeling frustrated or uninspired by the kind of work I’m doing as CEO, I seek out opportunities to engage in the parts of the business that remind me of why I started it in the first place. For me, this looks like calling families to check in on their experience or sharing editorial feedback on students’ essays. These interactions illustrate what is so special about the work that we do and fuel my motivation to iterate and improve for the benefit of those who engage our firm and place their trust in our team. – Lindsay Tanne, LogicPrep
5. Take Some Time Away
Like for most people, the pandemic exhausted me. It zapped some of my enthusiasm and positive energy. I recently went on a trip (and have been working remotely). The travel has given me a fresh perspective and has made me more invigorated about new ideas for the company. – Ashley Merrill, Lunya
6. Consider Starting A New Chapter
Passion for your work is a crucial component of success. If you’ve lost your passion, then that may be an indication that it’s time for a career change. There’s nothing wrong with closing one chapter of your life and opening a completely new one. After an aggressive, high-growth, 10-year run with my first company, I found myself feeling exhausted and trapped despite the successes I was experiencing. I became an entrepreneur to be free, yet found myself feeling very shackled to my own company. My creativity was tapped and things I once enjoyed doing were becoming burdensome. I soon realized that it was time to “exit stage left.” I sold my company, I took time off to recharge and reboot and then I started something completely new. Now, I love what I do again and couldn’t be happier. – Thomas Minieri, Minieri & Company
7. Focus On Quiet Reflection
Feeling like you need a change and are unfulfilled where you are can be a good sign if you look at it the right way. When you sense that you’ve lost passion for what you do, it means that you need something more challenging for your growth. It’s time to start thinking about what kind of changes you need to make in life. However, instead of filling your time with new activities, It’s a better idea to spend more time indulging in self-care and longer periods of silence or meditation. Spending time just being quiet gives you the chance to listen to your thoughts better. You’ll get the chance to collect new ideas and calmly make the right decision regarding your future. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Put Your Values First
Burnout is all too common nowadays. Being overworked and underappreciated leads us to wonder if we are even pursuing the right career path. I left a former nonprofit job after only a few months; the environment was toxic and my passion for my calling had completely disappeared. I tried to rewrite my life. I began baking, worked at a brewery, even taught briefly. It was during this time that I realized that I hadn’t lost my love of serving others, but I had grown out of many of the archaic ideas that nonprofits still held and operated under. I began to interview companies to see who would be the right fit for me, no longer seeking just to impress someone and get hired. By putting my values first, I was able to find a perfect fit that aligned with who I was and what I brought to the table. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity
9. Look At Your Career From An Outside Perspective
You may not be as stuck as you think. Take a step back and look at your career from an outside perspective. What aspects of your work did you once enjoy? What’s robbed you of that enjoyment? Is it office politics or feeling that you’re stuck on the career ladder? Maybe it’s time to move on. That could be to a new position or employer, or maybe your skills and passion would be better served by starting your own business. Particularly in today’s rapidly recovering economy, you may have a lot more options than you realize when you’re feeling stuck in the day-to-day grind. A fresh start may be just what you need. – Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc.