Just like romantic relationships, the relationship between you and your job can suffer if you don’t nourish it. So, in addition to rekindling the magic with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, the workplace and employment authorities at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. suggest giving thought to ways you might feel that spark at your job.
The latest data indicates that many Americans would simply like to break up with their jobs. More than 2.7 million workers quit their jobs in December, according to the just-released Job Openings and Labor Turnover report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The quits rate (the percentage of total employed who left their jobs voluntarily) is near a five-year high of 1.9 percent.
Furthermore, many of those sticking with their jobs may not be engaged in their work. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 70 percent of workers are not engaged in their jobs, and when that statistic is calculated globally, it rises to about 87 percent.
If you find yourself tuning out professionally, now is as good a time as ever to fall back in love with your job. Challenger offered the following advice on re-connecting with your job…on a purely non-romantic level, of course.
Make a date with your boss – Just as in personal relationships, communication in your job is critical, especially with your supervisor. While it is normal to receive feedback from your boss, give feedback as well about assignments that were challenging or exciting or to brainstorm new ideas. Set meetings or lunches to discuss current projects, department performance, expectations or to just vent.
Up the excitement factor – It is easy to get into a rut with any job. The daily responsibilities become second nature and the challenges dwindle. So, seek out new responsibilities. Talk to your supervisor or other department heads to find new ways you might be able to contribute. Perhaps, there is an important project that’s been put off because no one has stepped up to take on the challenge.
Branch out – Unlike monogamous romantic relationships, your relationship with your job benefits from expanding the number of personal connections in the workplace. Take time to meet people outside of your department in an effort to learn how all of the parts contribute to the overall success of the company. Meet new people as they come into the organization. You never know from whom the next big idea will come.
Play Cupid – Be someone who brings people together – not romantically, but professionally. Many workers lament the lack of camaraderie in their workplace, but they don’t do anything to build it. Be the catalyst that drives new partnerships within the office. Work with team members from other departments to solve potential problems or to head off any issues that may arise down the road. Keep in touch with projects in other departments and offer advice when you can. Soon, you might be the go-to person, which always looks good to management.
Do something for someone, just because – Significant others love when their partners do kind acts for no specific reason. The same can be said for your coworkers. Bring in donuts or coffee. Help someone with his or her regular tasks or troubleshoot an issue before it happens. A small act can go a long way to build morale.
Ask for what you want – As in dating, in the workplace, you won’t know if you can have something until you ask for it. Do you deserve a promotion? A raise? More telecommuting or flexibility? Vacation? Help on a project? Once you have made your professional desires known, you may see they are easily met.
Treat yourself – Just as in any relationship, you have to love “you” before you can make it work with another person. While it is always important to build and foster relationships with your co-workers, make sure that your career is on the trajectory you want. Continue education in your field, renew or earn the most current and relevant certifications, and expand your skill set. Seek the best way for you to work, whether that means in an office with a team, at a home office, or some combination.