Recently Prashant came to me seeking support in his career. We discussed the goals for the coaching engagement which were primarily about reviving his focus on his career. Prashant told me that his career had been going great till a couple of years back. Then a new manager who was both demanding and dominating took over. Prashant found it difficult to adjust to the new boss’s working style. His performance dipped and he lost interest in the job that he used to love earlier. He needed the paycheck so he stuck with the job.
Two years later the boss moved on but Prashant continued to experience a lack of interest in his job.
Something like this is a very common with career professionals. They are doing great when something triggers a dip in performance, interest, and motivation. In this case, we were able to identify the source of when and where Prashant lost interest but for most people, it is not always so simple. They just know that something has shifted and they no longer get any pleasure from the work they do. They define the time when they liked the job as” I use to feel charged up”, “I was excited to come to work”, “I was really on my game.”, etc
When they lose interest the description is more like” This work is monotonous”,” I don’t fell like coming to work”, etc
To understand why this happens relate it to Newton’s first law of motion.
“An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force.”
From the point of view of your career, this would mean that you will continue to work in the same state unless this state is interrupted by an external force. In Prashant’s case, the external force was clearly his boss but it could very easily be additional workload, an irritating colleague, a bad appraisal, a missed promotion. Now the thing to remember is that of something has interrupted your pace, in order for you to get back in the groove, the same law would be equally applicable – An external force is required to shift you from your state.
Sometimes if you are lucky this will happen by default.
Your new boss may be a great motivator and you may find your mojo again.
You may get laid off and not have a choice but to get your act together.
But do you really want to leave your career to chance?
If you are unhappy with your state of mind or your motivation at work find that thing that could move you out of this state. It could be a new role, a new job, a passion, a friend, a coach, a mentor, a training, a new mindset. You need to find that one thing that gives you the motivation and drive to get back on track and reconnect with your energy and drive.