The motivations that power you through your 20s and 30s are likely to evolve over time. You may notice a change of attitude in key areas (salary expectations; level of seniority; opportunities to learn and grow; chances to give back; the kind of life you want outside work to name a few).

If you have a feeling of dread on Sunday evening and would much rather feel good about your working life, here are 5 steps you can take to get on track:

1. Get Clear on Your Values

Your values could be described as “standards of behaviour”. They are basically the principles you judge to be important in life. If I were to ask you now what you consider your core values to be (i.e. the non-negotiable ones that you need to have fulfilled in order to function well in life), how fluent would you be in your response? Is it clear to you? And, if you do know the values most important to you, ask yourself which ones you’re honouring at work and which ones are being abandoned. It’s hard to work well when something important to you is being compromised.

2. Review Your Current Perspective

If you were to describe your working life as you would a piece of scenery (a room or an outdoor space) what would it look like? How light or dark is it? What’s the temperature like? Are you alone or with others? Indoors or outside? How does it smell? Whatever comes up for you is your perspective on the situation. Close colleagues may have a completely different one to your own. The perspective you hold about your work will have a strong influence on your response to situations. A narrow or dark perspective inhibits your field of vision, it curbs your ability to think of creative solutions to the challenges you may face. Your perspective IS one of the things that is within your power to control. A poor situation viewed from an empowered perspective has a better chance of resolution than one viewed from a place of resignation or desperation.

3. Clarify Your Motivations and Desires

“We have this saying, Christy [Turlington] and I … we don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day,” supermodel Linda Evangelista famously shared with Vogue back in October 1990. What about you? What makes you get out of bed in the morning in your 20s is likely to evolve with the passing years, if not change completely. To be truly happy at work, you need to ensure your basic needs AND some deeper desires are being met. A basic need would include what you need to earn each month to cover costs. It may also be to feel safe at work. A deeper desire might be for recognition, the opportunity to mentor others, to have flexible hours or to earn five times more than you need to cover your costs each month. Once clear on the basic needs and more complex desires, you’re in a good place to define your goals and be motivated enough to go for them.

4. Form a Strategy to Deal With Obstacles

The joy of achieving a goal comes from having navigated whatever was standing in the way. Sometimes these obstacles are beyond your control, but you can control how you respond (back to #2 – Perspective). More often than not, the obstacles are actually residing within our own heads. They fester in the form of negative beliefs and stories we’ve told ourselves (or have been told by others). The key here is to identify them as something external to you, notice the negative chatter rattling on inside your head when you hear it and distance yourself from it. To coin a cliché: You are not your thoughts! And you can fill the space left by the negative voices by something more empowering, which leads to the next point …

5. Play To Your Strengths

You may not know it yet, but you have a force within you that overcomes obstacles. It has got you this far and will do its utmost to get you to wherever you want to be! All you have to do is get in touch with it. A metaphor for this “force” might be an Inner Team or a Board of Directors. You call it whatever works best for you. The bottom line is that you have a number of different strengths! And skills and talents. Personal strengths are like muscles – they get more defined with regular exercise.

Many of us will be working well into our sixties and seventies so it’s worth investing the time and energy to get clear on the direction of travel. Join a group, hire a coach, take a course or, at the very least, do some desk research. There are resources out there to suit every person and every budget and the results could be transformative.