I was having a Twitter direct message conversation with a good friend recently about career challenges. She asked if I were still as interested in what I do as when I started, because she isn't right now.
My quick response? You don’t always love today what you have loved for a long time.
Moving from entrepreneurship to a job for an organization, she has no interest in doing the work she had loved previously, prompting her question on career challenges. While she is performing comparable duties at the new job (and it’s going well), it’s less demanding than entrepreneurship, and from a financial standpoint, more stable. The thought of doing the more challenging work she’d been doing independently is “dead” to her.
Losing interest or seeing your strong interests shift is probably common on the list of career challenges people encounter. Her question got me brainstorming ideas for additional options I could share beyond the ones suggested within the 140-character limits of Twitter.
6 Ideas when Career Challenges Have You Losing the Love for What You Do
From brainstorming ideas, here are six approaches to consider if you begin losing the love for what you have loved to do:
1. Find someone else who loves what you do and “partner” with them
You most likely know other people doing what you have been doing who are still in love with it. Spend time with one of them (preferably one with less experience than you). Try to once again see what you do through their fresh eyes with the enthusiasm they still bring to it.
2. Add something else you love into what you do
My career coach once told me I have an unusual knack for reinventing myself whenever I hit career challenges. Key to that is building in new or unexpected wrinkles into the job you've been doing a long time. It may seem counter-intuitive, but think about how you can make what you love to do harder than it has been for a long time to re-ignite your love affair with it.
3. Do something else in whole or in part
No matter how specialized you consider yourself, there are surely other things you love doing. Consider how one or more of your passion projects can be combined with (or totally replace) what you aren't loving right now. Your old passion plus a current passion could be the answer.
4. Don’t worry about it
Consider the possibility your current career challenges will pass. The recent job change for my friend provided relief from multiple day-to-day pressures. That type of break from what’s been on your mind could be enough by itself to make you look VERY differently at what you have been doing. Love is one thing, but dependable remuneration for what you’re doing now is something else entirely.
5. Suck it up and keep going out of duty
While the ideal situation is to always love what you do, that’s not ALWAYS going to be the case – no matter what motivational speakers and success gurus try to tell you. If you have real-life responsibilities to address, your career challenges may just have to take a back seat as you solider on with what you HAVE to do, whether you’re feeling the love or not.
6. Take it as a signal or opportunity to make a break
Sometimes love for what you do, as much as this seems impossible, simply goes away completely. While it may pain you to not love what you’ve loved for a long time, your current career challenges may be the best thing that ever happened. If you’ve been reluctant to make a big change, maybe this is the big wake-up call you’ve been unconsciously waiting to have happen to you.
What other ideas would you offer for comparable career challenges?
Have you recaptured the love for what you do? Have you walked away? And what advice would you offer my friend? - Mike Brown
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