Do you feel like you’re dragging? Is it starting to feel like work is just a chore, and you just need to get through it? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, many people are unhappy in their current position. There’s no doubt that some people are either in jobs that aren’t pleasant or they’re in jobs that aren’t the right fit for them. If you’re in either situation, find your way into a job that gives you intrinsic satisfaction. Sometimes you’re in a great job but you’ve simply grown tired of it. Either way, there are steps to take to feel more motivated. Reminding yourself of these three principles will help you get back on track — even if you’re not in your dream position.

1. Remind yourself of your impact.

Fundamentally, jobs exist to serve a need. CEOs exist to lead companies in the right direction. Receptionists exist to direct office guests in an organized fashion. Trash collectors exist to remove waste from city streets. Regardless of where you work, there’s an objective that your position was created to meet.

All this to say: You have an impact. Sometimes, getting motivated can come from something as simple as reminding yourself of who your work helps. You don’t need to be a doctor or charity worker to help others, either. A CEO helps his or her team by giving direction and leadership based on years of experience. A receptionist helps guests who need assistance and helps those in the office who invited the guests. A trash collector helps people in the community who need to get rid of their waste. No matter what your job function is, you’re helping someone. Remind yourself of how exactly you impact others and it’ll help you feel more passionate for your work.

2. Develop skills that help you excel in your position.

Have you heard the phrase, “you just like doing [X] because you’re good at it”? It essentially boils down to this: People enjoy doing things that they feel they’re successful at. It’s not that surprising when you consider why. Doing something well gives you the satisfaction of work completed and of your competence. Simply: it reminds you that you’re great.

Many positions can begin to feel monotonous if tasks repeat, so developing your skill set can help you go beyond the basic day-to-day. (Plus, it could help you move up the ladder.) Look for trainings specific to your industry that will give you value knowledge. You can also do something as simple as listen to a career-related podcast that’ll give you guidance on soft skills (Pennsylvania is already doing it). Whatever you choose to do, it’ll make you feel more confident in your expertise and will help you stay focused at work.

3. Spend time with other passionate, positive people.

Negativity breeds negativity while positivity breeds, you guessed it, positivity. If you spend time with people who complain about their job, it’ll be hard not to match their emotions and join in. The best way to avoid this is to avoid negative people. According to Inc, highly-successful individuals avoid pessimistic people in order to achieve their goals.

Sometimes you’ll have a close friend or colleague in your life who is negative but you just can’t avoid them (or don’t want to cut them out). The best course of action here is to just steer the conversation to positive topics — you may actually help them become happier by doing so. Otherwise, you can take advantage of local networking or social activities to meet others who are excited to grow their career. These are the individuals who you’ll want to surround yourself with.

At the end of the day, work is work. Even if you’re still not in the position you want, it’s still within your power to make your day-to-day a little bit better.


  • Rachael is based out of San Diego but grew up in rural Oregon. She loves a SoCal lifestyle, especially because it means reading books at the beach in the evening. She's passionate about women finding success in the workplace and loves to write about her learnings from it.