By Perminus Wainaina
Michael had been working for the same company for close to three years when he started feeling a lack of enthusiasm for his job. In the four years he had been there, he had learnt and grown as a professional – something he loved. However, within the last six months, he started dreading going to work. At first, he thought it was because he was tired. When this persisted for three months, he realized there was something deeper.
He was demotivated.
“I started feeling like there was no more space for me to grow. When I looked at where I want to be in my profession, I realized that I would not be able to get there while still working for this company. With every task I received, I felt weighed down and to make it all worse, I was not learning anything new. I was still performing tasks I had done when I first joined the company.
How do I move past this? At times, I think my wellbeing is more important than the monthly pay, and I feel like I may just wake up and hand in my letter of resignation to my boss,” his email to me read in part.
Being demotivated is a feeling that many grapple with. You, like Michael, may feel as though you have no direction at your place of work, and do not know where to start.
What is causing your feeling of demotivation?
Here are a few reasons why you may be demotivated
1. You Are Working Without Intentionality
The biggest reason why you may be feeling demotivated is that you are living your life without goals or intent.
If you’re living a life without purpose, you are bound to go through the motions without any sense of direction, feeling as though you are doing things simply for the sake of doing things rather than to work towards something that you want.
When Michael started performing tasks simply because it was expected of him, he lost focus on moving towards his goals.
2. You Take on Too Much and Are Overwhelmed
When you take on too much, you stretch yourself too thin and become burnt out quickly.
If you’re too overwhelmed by the many projects you are pursuing, you are less likely to want to do them. If you fall behind, you lose further motivation and you wind up not enjoying the tasks you are supposed to accomplish and lose the drive to see them through.
3. You Believe You Should Have Accomplished More by Now
When Michael looked at where he was career wise, he thought of where he wanted to be and believed he could not accomplish it while still working for the same company.
A lot of professionals put pressure on themselves and put themselves down because they think that they haven’t accomplished enough out of all of the time that they have been alive.
It can be easy to get into this state of mind. But the past is the past and the only thing you are in control of is the future.
When you allow yourself to indulge in the past, you fall into the habit of giving up and going through the motions. This habit strips you of motivation and prevents you from making any progress whatsoever.
While being demotivated may seem like a bleak situation, you can get through it.
How To Overcome Demotivation
1. Take time to reflect
Recognize the triggers of your demotivation so you can proactively take action to address any risks. Triggers can be changes occurring across your organization or market, internal restructuring, downsizing, or the slow drip of a non-hiring policy that can lead to you and your team picking up other people’s work.
When you spot these triggers, consider what this means so you can plan accordingly. For example, if it’s likely to be extra workload, what type of work is it and can it be turned into a challenge? Looking at the various traits within the team, who may welcome this opportunity?
Also, take up a career mentorship program that will help you identify what is missing in your own role and then use the same techniques you learn, with individuals in your team.
2. Look at your options
If you feel demotivated at work, then use your contacts – colleagues, manager, friends and family – to seek out others that have been in a similar situation. Use their experience and advice to draw up a list of options to keep your role ignited.
However, don’t just seek solutions from within. Liaise with your external network such as those who have gone through career mentorship, so you can compare experiences in different contexts – it may even open your eyes to ways you could add value to another organization.
3. Build your adaptability
Getting out of being demotivated is also about mindset. Being comfortable with doubtfulness or uncertainty is just as key as developing a positive inner dialogue so that when you feel your engagement slipping you can reframe to a more positive view.
Paying attention to your energy and health is also important. Therefore, know how you get your physical and emotional energy levels up through exercise or taking a few minutes to reflect out of the office.
Even the best of us become demotivated but it is necessary that you get back your drive to push forward and live your best life.
Don’t give up!
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through career mentorship programs, he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing. Click here for more on career mentorship.N.B: Would you like us to consider you for a job opening? Boost your job search. Upload Your CV Here. It's FREE