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Work can be a grind and the luster of receiving the weekly paycheck fades over time. Add in a pandemic, the battle to prove you can be productive working remotely and annual raises that don’t keep pace with the rate of inflation and the honeymoon is over.

If you’re unsatisfied, bored or spend your Sunday thinking of ways to get out of Monday, try these steps to reengage and breathe new life into your stale job.

1. Rediscover your why.

Get back in touch with what made you pursue your line of work in the first place. Bill paying can get old quickly, so instead focus on the feelings that the money and benefits you receive from working generate in you. Write down the reasons you work. Examples include expressing your creativity, your ability to impact lives in a positive manner through the company you work for, knowing that your children had the opportunity to attend college, sipping margaritas on the patio of your dream home you were able to build or giving to your favorite charity every year.

2. Learn a new skill.

Perhaps the source of your career disinterest is that you feel you are becoming stale and that the work is no longer challenging. Learning something new and raising the bar on your own performance can be a game changer when it comes to resetting momentum. Reassess your short- and long-term career goals and determine where your skill and/or experience gaps lie. Make a list of what developmental opportunities you need to get closer to the goals you have set for yourself and get on your manager’s calendar to discuss them.

If your employer does not have a budget set aside for learning and development, you may have to seek it out yourself, but start the conversation with your boss and confirm what support you can expect. Aligning your goals with the goals of the organization and outlining how your learning activities will add immediate value in the workplace can improve the chance of your employer’s buy-in.

3. Don’t leave vacation days on the table and when you do take time off, really unplug.

Time off is meant to be time away from work. Good employers know that rested, healthy employees perform better and remain engaged longer. Taking all of your PTO every year helps restore balance to the mental, emotional and physical demands of the job and allows you the time to reset your perspective.

Leaders have a responsibility to set an example for their teams by using their vacation time and avoiding covertly sending the message that time off is optional or will be penalized in any manner. Besides, leaders need their time to rest and rejuvenate, too, so they can share the best version of themselves with others.

4. Ask for what you want.

Greater responsibility, the chance to lead a team or participate in an exciting project, more travel/less travel, remote work, a different office, a raise, bringing your dog to work—whatever it is that is lights you up—you can’t have it if you don’t ask for it. The worst thing that can happen is your request is denied, but more likely you will obtain some or all of what you ask for.

Tip: If your ask involves a financial investment on the part of the company, be prepared to demonstrate the return on investment for the company. If you want a raise, provide compelling support of why you deserve it.

5. Stop complaining how much you hate your job, how boring it is or how lousy your boss treats you.

Our bodies respond to how we speak to ourselves so when we complain we end up unintentionally promoting our own unhappiness. Instead, create 10 affirmations that reinforce the reasons you are grateful for your job and say them before you begin work each day. Then, keep them in a place where you can see them during the day to remind you when you are tempted to begin grumbling.

Also avoid trash talk at the water cooler or at the family picnic when you feel you have a sympathetic ear. What you focus on, you create more of, so if you can’t say anything nice about your job, try not to say anything at all.

If you are genuinely unhappy at your job, then it’s time to decide to leave and create a plan of action. Often, we have more control over our environment than we believe we do, but if you do not see a way to improve your current experience, then it may be time to leave. This does not mean quitting out of anger and leaving without notice. This is about making a mature, thoughtful decision that you will benefit from a new employment opportunity and developing a strategy to be successful.

Keep your engagement high at work and do your searching around your work schedule until you are ready to give notice. Consider that the grass may not always be greener on the other side. Reflect on how you can select and approach the next job differently to achieve the satisfaction you seek.

Want more great tips? Check out for recent career-related information I’ve shared on numerous podcasts, television outlets, and radio shows.

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This article was originally posted on Forbes Coaches Council and can be found at

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