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How to Reignite Your Enthusiasm for Work

At some point, in any professional’s career, there comes a time when enthusiasm wanes. It’s natural, after all. Even as an assistant, a role where “no two days are exactly alike,” the day-to-day operations can eventually become monotonous.

When you feel a lack of enthusiasm for the work you do, it can really take a toll on your quality of life. You feel more tired and discontent. Ultimately, it can also impact your quality of work. When you’re not energized by what you’re doing, you tend to cut corners and settle for “good enough.”

So, what’s an assistant to do when he or she feels that lack of enthusiasm? How do you get back on track? Here are some simple, but effective, recommendations.

Tackle Stretch Projects

Nothing is more exciting than a project that challenges your capabilities. These kinds of projects give you goals that are outside the normal, everyday realm. They’re risky, no doubt. But hey, the risk is exciting! It gets the blood moving. It forces you to think differently and deeper. It pushes you to see things from new perspectives.

Volunteer to do something you’ve never done before. Suggest an innovative solution to a problem that’s been plaguing your team for ages. Offer to own that project that no one else wants to do.

You are capable of much more than you (or your manager!) probably even realize. The feeling of growing is, in and of itself, a great energizer. Plus, as you tackle these challenging items, you’ll enhance your reputation and contribute more meaningful in your role. It’s a win-win.

Shake Up Your Routine

Routines are useful because they make us more productive. However, it’s easy to shift into autopilot when you’re doing the same things, in the same way, every day. Sometimes a minor shake up can help you re-engage. Even something simple, like taking a different route to work in the morning or climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator, can help you feel more awake and alert.

When I’m feeling a lack of enthusiasm personally, I rearrange my to-do list. I move the tasks I enjoy most to the end of the day, that way I can look forward to them. I’m able to power through the more unpleasant work with the knowledge that my afternoon will be filled with more enjoyable items. Or, I save the best stuff for Fridays. These are simple tricks that I find helpful when I’m struggling.

Optimize Your Environment

This is another strategy that I rely on personally. The physical environment can have a dramatic impact on your mental perspective. When I need a good hefty dose of renewed energy, I reorganize and redecorate my workspace. It never fails to lift spirits. I can find new ways to enhance the functionality of even a tiny space, and when all is said and done, I can enjoy a fresh new perspective.

Try this and see how it feels: Remove all the clutter from your space and re-evaluate why it’s there. Exchange your personal pieces of flare for more recent photos or important mementos. Switch up the location of your computer, your phone, and your work-in-progress files. Empty your drawers and find new places for your stockpiles.

In my experience, a few minor adjustments can have a powerfully positive effect.

Reconnect with Your Value

Finally, one of the best things you can do to reignite your enthusiasm is to remember why your work really matters. Consider the impact you have on your executive and the organization as a whole. Imagine what things would be like if you weren’t there. Remember the overall goals and mission of the organization.

You are an essential part of something that is very important to many, many people.

Remember that work is not the same as play. It’s okay if you aren’t filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement each and every day. Save that for your trip to Disneyland. However, it is absolutely possible to find something at work, each and every day, that brings you a sense of joy, enthusiasm or fulfillment. It takes effort, but it’s worth it.


Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach and corporate trainer who believes that work can be a nourishing, enriching part of the life experience. Her website, EatYourCareer.com, is devoted to that mission. You’re invited to join the FREE Eat Your Career Resource Library where you’ll gain immediate access to dozens of tools to advance your professional skills and achieve career fulfillment.

Chrissy also has an amazing book called The Proactive Professional and some incredible ebooks and guides.

This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

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27 thoughts on “How to Reignite Your Enthusiasm for Work”

  1. I’m still catching up! It’s been a busy and informative (late!) lunch hour : ) I appreciate some of the comments as much as the blog! I know it isn’t normal to have the warm and fuzzies about work every day, but if it’s starting to feel like a slog these are great ways to reset and remind yourself why you do what you do! Some of these I already do (and will continue!), but there are a couple here I haven’t done that I think I’ll be trying out soon! Thanks, Chrissy!

  2. Rhonda M. Strong

    I agree 100% that projects are a great way of reigniting your passion–especially if it’s a project for which you are passionate.

  3. Great article. One thing I do in my gratitude journal is make sure I end it with at least one thing that reminds me of why I do what I do. Why I was drawn to this career in the first place. In doing just that one activity helps keep my enthusiasm about coming to work each day.

  4. I’ve recently struggled with this as I’ve been an AA since 2001 (2 different organizations yet in the same field). I often experience burn-out and grow tired of the same old routines. Fortunately, my organization has many holidays, which can help me to feel refreshed when returning back to work. When I need to change up my routine, my supervisor and I partner together to work on more challenging projects, which does help break the monotony and gives me a chance to show my other skills. I have tried the suggestions presented here, but at some point, I would like to see myself in another field and or career.

  5. I find a much looked-forward-to lunchtime walk and a small piece of chocolate at the end of the work day (or after a particularly trying task) give me something to look forward to each day. The walk clears my mind and the chocolate, well, it’s chocolate.

  6. I want to add something here that really struck home for me last year. In addition to the suggestions above. it is amazing what a dose of perspective can do for our appreciation and enthusiasm! It can truly connect you to a sense of mission.

    Having wandered accidentally into my admin career, I often felt pigeonholed, and struggled to rid myself of professional self-doubt. Then I had the privilege to see Lucy Brazier at last year’s admin conference. When she shared the life-changing impact that the Isipho Admin Bursary will have for the scholarship winners who will attend this training in the coming year, I felt true appreciation for my own job. More importantly, I suddenly had a bigger sense of the impact we can have by being advocates of the #AdminNation.

    According to the US Department of Labor, Secretary/Administrative Assistant remains the #1 job for women in the United States, and although recent data is harder to find, a 2011 Monster.com article estimates that 95%+ of administrative support roles are held by female employees. Given that so many women rely upon this profession, I realized that this role holds the potential to change the lives of not only women and the families they support, but even for healing communities around the world.

    Here is the link to the Isipho Admin Bursary Sizzle that Lucy shared, if you want to check it out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL-mxvZic60

  7. Thank you for the great article. We all get stuck on auto pilot, and these techniques will definitely improve our outlook. I try to use colored pens, bright folders and redecorate monthly.

  8. Thanks for these tips. Adding pictures to my work space has been on my ‘to do’ list for too long now.

    One of the most enjoyable parts of my job that keeps me going is being able to organize events for the employees. It is great to see them enjoying themselves and hear how appreciative they are afterwards.

  9. Always love Chrissy’s words of wisdom. I agree about taking on new projects and stretch work. I recently offered to be interim support for an additional C-level executive and to be on an interview team to fill their support role. I was super busy but it was just what I needed to revitalize me as I was in the auto-pilot mode. I will continue to find new things to do as I’d rather be really busy than feel like I am just watching the clock to make it through the day.

  10. This article has some good points. What I need to focus on is remembering why my ‘work really matters’. After 14 years, I’m starting to get a little burned out.
    Have a great day everyone. 🙂

  11. Love this article. At least once a year I need to shake things up a bit so my job is more fulfilling.

  12. Sandy Stotesbury, CAP-OM

    Love your suggestions! I moved into a new office about 8 months ago and have already “renewed” my decorator items – and moved my desk around! Definitely keeps things from being boring!!!

  13. Again, such impeccable timing! I’m currently in a bit of a “slump” waiting for a surge of new tasks. One of the best things I’ve realized is, for me, these periods are cyclical so I can count on the wave of projects to return, generally in short order. Knowing this is a short term “slump” has helped me tremendously. I like the ideas of shaking up my routine and sprucing up my space. I think I’ll start there! Thanks for the great advice!

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