What to do when you lose your work MOJO

Ange Connor

You’ve no doubt been there and experienced at some stage of your career what it’s like when you’ve lost your work mojo. Sometimes losing your mojo builds over a period of time, other times a single situation – incident can be the catalyst for that mojo evaporating literally overnight.

Lots of things can characterise the loss of our mojo, it looks and feels different for each and every one of us. From helping lots of people over the years who have lost their work mojo, these are some of the common feelings and emotions:

  • You’ve lost the fire in your belly, what use to bring you job satisfaction has all but evaporated
  • It feels like ground hog day
  • The thought of work on a Sunday night and/or Monday morning (or any morning really) doesn’t feel positive and motivating
  • You now for some reason feel like a round peg in a square hole; that could be role wise, team wise, company wise.
  • You feel a disconnect with the direction of business you work for, or the values, or the purpose or the leadership
  • It feels like something is missing or something has changed.

Sometimes it can be hard to put your finger on it and it’s just a gut feeling you have. Sometimes others see the loss of our mojo in us before we see or identify it within ourselves.

For some of us, losing our work mojo can be quite confronting and can leave us feeling a little disillusioned. It more often than not poses the question of is it time to look for a new role and/or a new employer or can I get my work mojo back?

My first piece of advice if you find yourself having lost your work mojo is not to make any rash decisions. From my own personal experience and having coached many others over the years through these periods, the best approach is to take your time and reflect; to unpack what’s led to, what’s influencing you to feel like you have lost your mojo and then work on your options. Now that is also easier said than done.

So where to start? Here are a few steps to start you on the journey of understanding where your mojo has gone.

Your support crew
Having people close to you that you can talk through, bounce thoughts and feelings around with, people that will challenge your thinking and perspective is absolutely vital. Family and friends can be really great, however I’d also encourage you to explore and consider people who you don’t have a personal relationship with, such as a work/business mentor, coach, business associate, industry expert, human resources practitioner, psychologist or a career coach. Your support crew isn’t just one person, it’s a number of people who can support you through this process. Sometimes when we have lost our mojo our perspective can become jaded and we see things through a particular lens or interpret a situation in a particular way. Your support crew will be valuable in helping you step back and look at things from different perspectives.

My thoughts are that this is done best over a period of time; you can’t just reflect for one hour tomorrow afternoon at 3pm and tick it off the to do list. I’m a big advocate of putting your reflections on to paper so you can track where your thoughts and reflections keep going to and so you can identify themes or key messages. Lots of people are a fan of journalling or you can get yourself some A3 or butchers paper, stick it up on the wall and get your thoughts on to the paper. It might be words, feeling or emotions, situations, values; ultimately you start to create a mind map, that you can then use as conversation starters with people from your support crew to help you navigate why you’ve lost your work mojo and if you can get it back.

The REAL Why
Working through and identifying the real reasons for why you’ve lost your work mojo is vitally important. Often our first thoughts on why we have lost our mojo are not the real root cause of the lost mojo. If we can’t accurately identify the real reasons we risk taking the wrong action that doesn’t solve for the problem. For example, you might think you’ve lost your work mojo because your colleagues are getting on your nerves and it feels like everything you touch work – task wise is hard or turns to s*@t, so you are no longer getting job satisfaction. This might lead you to think it’s time to change employers or change careers. However, if you don’t unpack why it feels like your colleagues are getting on your nerves and why tasks feel super hard, you might not realise that those feelings are being generated because of other pressures that you didn’t even consider such as pressures, changes or challenges in your personal life that are then resulting in your tolerance levels and resilience levels being diminished which in turn is coming out in feelings of frustrations at work and feeling like you’ve lost your work mojo. In this instance changing employers or career paths is unlikely to solve for the issue and you find your self in the same situation 3 week or 3 months in to your new role.

Feeling like you’ve lost your work mojo shouldn’t be an experience to be feared. It can be a sign telling us it’s time to step out of our comfort zone and that we are ready for a new challenge and growth. Other times it’s a sign we simply need a holiday and might need to switch off and completely recharge the batteries. Being conscious and aware of what’s going on for you, of your emotions and feelings, pressures and challenges and working through those with your support crew will help you identify what you need to do to get it back.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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