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By Patricia Mish Managing editor, FAITH Grand Rapids | Photo By Getty Images/Lyndon Stratford | July August 2022

Make a Fresh Start at Work Without Changing Jobs

I’ve got the seven-year itch. I love my team, but my day-to-day is starting to feel like Groundhog Day. How can I make a fresh start without leaving my job?

That iconic 1993 film struck a chord, didn’t it? I think we’ve all felt like Bill Murray’s character at one time or another: Waking to an alarm that jolts us into a workday that looks all too similar to the one before. How to break free of the time loop?

As Christians, we can turn to the Lord in prayer to find inspiration as we start each day. Your workday may seem like a grind right now, but you own the dawn! Set up your coffee, tea or favorite morning beverage the night before and consider waking 10 minutes earlier for prayer time.

Start with gratitude, thanking the Lord for the new day. In your own words, share whatever weighs on you and ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you as you move into the workday. End on a positive note with an Our Father or this simple psalm: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.” (Ps 118:24)

Make three lists, taking a cue from decluttering tips that encourage setting aside things to keep, things to give away and things to toss. For your job, the lists may look like this: 1. Tasks I enjoy (be specific); 2. Tasks I put off because I don’t like doing them; 3. Tasks I dread. Your list may look different depending on your occupation (for example it may have to do with parts of your day rather than specific tasks), but the idea here is to zero in on what offers you fulfillment.

Set realistic goals. Not every minute of every day will give you joy. In the workplace, however, what makes you happy often makes your employer happy too – after all, you not only bring enthusiasm to these tasks, but also excel at them. Shoot for spending more than half your time in your wheelhouse.

Communicate. Extrovert? Introvert? Either way, difficult conversations can be … difficult. But your boss will appreciate your candor if you come clean. Your manager is not a mind reader and can’t be expected to know how you feel. Ask if you can modify your job description to spend more time on what you love and less time on tasks that don’t align with your strengths or interests.

And remember, we are more than what we do. Whether on the job or at home, we will experience seasons in life where we feel underappreciated (cleaned a bathroom lately?), in a rut or in search of inspiration.

Our faith reminds us to bring God into all we do, from the mundane to the momentous: “Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” (Eph 5:1-2)