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5 ways to make your job more exciting

Resurrect your love for work with career advice compiled by Guardian writer Charlotte Seager.

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Oh dear! It looks like a dangerous dose of demotivation has taken hold. You’ve started to sleepwalk through the working day, stuck in the same monotonous routine.

However, there are some signs of the productive employee that used to look forward to Monday mornings. You can still save yourself. An antidote is at hand.

Resurrect your love for work. Read 5 ways to make your job more exciting by Guardian careers author Charlotte Seager.

1. Work out why you’re bored

Everyone feels demotivated from time-to-time, but if you are stuck in a career rut, it’s important to find out why. “Perhaps your job isn’t living up to your expectations, or you feel the role was miss-sold to you. Nevertheless, pinpoint why you are unhappy at work,” says Sarah Archer, founder of CareerTree.

Once you know the root of the problem – perhaps you are itching for a promotion, or want more autonomy in your work – you can take steps to resolve the issue. “Identify your values and work out why your job isn’t meeting them,” says Lisa LaRue, founder of CareerWorx.

2. Change the way you work

If you feel unfulfilled at work, “think about whether you can craft a better job in your current position” advises Victoria McLean, founder of CityCV.

One tip is to create a mind-map of the things you enjoy doing – and see where they cross over with your current responsibilities. “If you value targets but lack these at work, you will quickly become disinterested. In this situation, you could try introducing your own goals to keep you on track,” explains LaRue.

Likewise, if you enjoy working in a team but your current role requires you to work alone – set up regular interaction with co-workers to make your job more social. You’ll find making small changes to the way you work, and playing to your strengths, will make you feel much more satisfied in your job.

3. Explore hobbies and interests

To get the most out of your career, it’s important to have interests outside work. “For example it can be worthwhile to do volunteering in an area you care about, or join a local club,” says McLean.

Having focuses outside of the office can give you a greater sense of purpose and, as a result, help you feel happier in your role.

Ask your boss if there are any opportunities to bring your interests into your job – for example, you could suggest setting up a weekly art group or lunchtime yoga class for staff.

“Take on extra responsibilities, volunteer within your organisation, and learn new skills to make your current role a better fit,” says McLean.

4. Set goals

Feeling motivated about your job often stems from setting and achieving goals. If you are in a slump, it can be helpful to write down what you want from your career long-term.

“Be clear about what you want and set goals,” says Archer. “To some degree [your job] is what you make it so challenge yourself to do new things or take on new projects – learning and growing is a great way to feel positive.”

One way to do this is to identify something beneficial for the company that is outside of your remit and volunteer to do it, advises Jon Gregory, author and founder of “It will widen your horizons and make work more exciting for you.”

5. Be proactive

Ultimately, having an interesting job comes down to being proactive. “The real trick is to stay focused on a direction,” says Gregory. “Each week fill a short diary page under three titles: what did I do this week; what did I learn this week and what do I plan to do next week?”

“Boredom often stems from a need to explore greater challenges – so find ways to re-engage within your work,” says McLean. Take an active interest in your career by making the most of the opportunities right in front of you.

Not sure if you should quit your job? It happens to everyone. Your job used to inspire you but now it just tires you.

Find out if you’re turning into a work zombie. Play Are You The Working Dead? and save yourself from the effects of demotivation before it’s too late.

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