As we inch closer to Valentine’s Day, there’s so much pressure to be publicly in love. If you stop to think about it, one of the most important relationships in your life is with your career. So, how can you fall back in love with the job you spend nearly every day of your life working at or thinking about?
Some industry leaders who fell back in love with their own careers weighed in:
The lingerie designer who mixed things up
“If you’re reading this, you’ve probably worn underwear I’ve designed,” says Rachael McCrary, who created designs for Target, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom among others before a stint at Maidenform. These days she designs intimates for Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore.
McCrary lost her passion for a while, though: “Once, I felt like I just couldn’t look at another pair of underwear. Anything gets old after 15 years. I felt like I had seen every undie in existence from Hong Kong to Paris to Bangkok to Miami.”
She took a year off “and mixed it up entirely. I did five yoga teacher trainings, lived on an ashram and studied Hindu chants in Sanskrit.”
After a while, “I started to miss lingerie. After spending almost no time on the computer, I found a renewed love for drawing in Adobe Creative Suite and all things lingerie,” McCrary says. “One day browsing the lingerie shops of Paris, I realized it’s all always being reinvented by lingerie lovers who never get enough … like me! There’s always a new chapter.”
The floral industry disruptor who came full circle
“It took me nearly one year to realize I was falling out of love with my career,” says Juan Palacio, CEO of BloomsyBox.com. “After I sold my online flower business back in 2009, I started working with a travel-related domain portfolio.”
Even though he switched industries, Palacio was still doing what he was passionate about — online marketing, but he felt “drained, unmotivated and unengaged.” More than that, “I was losing interest in the general vision of the company, and questioning my personal beliefs of not living up to my full potential.” After feeling as though he was on autopilot, Palacio knew it was time for a big change.
For Palacio, finding new perspective changed everything: “I started falling back in love with my career in late 2013. I went to a convention and learned about the online subscription business and became instantly intrigued. I spent hours researching subscription companies and ideas.”
He realized it was the challenge he missed most. “I started working on a business plan for a subscription-based business, which later became the wireframe for BloomsyBox,” Palacio said. “I thought I was discovering a new passion, but it was just another facet of online marketing with a new perspective. I felt refreshed, revitalized and ready for the challenge.”
Palacio keeps that positive vibe going by “keeping an open mind to different angles of my career. If I get bored or unsatisfied with things that I’m doing, I start researching new ideas and perspectives to never remain complacent. Complacency can sneak up on you and I’ve learned to challenge myself by never letting it win.”
The corporate alum who finds inspiration everywhere
Workplace trainer and Proctor & Gamble alum Scott Mautz is the author of “Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again.” Mautz says that to find some of that lovin’ feeling you’ve lost, you should concentrate on “understanding what evokes inspiration,” and be proactive about it.
“You need to take ownership of understanding how you can evoke inspiration instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you,” Mautz suggests. He offered 3 conditions with the most potential for inspiration: “If it’s something disruptive (forces you to think about things differently), if it’s relevant (to core human motives), and if it’s attainable (feels like it can be accomplished).”
And keep that good vibe going. “You can elevate the mood of your environment by being positive, enthusiastic, and optimistic, which will greatly increase the likelihood that you’ll receive the same in return.” If that doesn’t seem to be working, “add to the mix by trying a variety of new experiences that might strike a spark of inspiration.”
Study the routine and the remarkable to see if there’s overlap. “Inspiration can be uncovered in things we take for granted, like people, places, things, and Pop Tarts,” Mautz mused. Practicing focused appreciation, or “stopping to consider what’s special about a person, place, or thing in our life,” and find your inspiration there.