Why have I lost the passion for everything

No more passion for the job - can that be changed?

There are people who, even after more than 30 years in the same company, exude genuine enthusiasm for their work, are interested in new things and do their day-to-day business with lively curiosity. And then there are others, often much younger and shorter, who appear dull and exhausted, absent or cynical. They have lost passion for what they do every day - or never had at all.

This is a problem for a team: an employee who is only waiting for the end of work and the next vacation is only half an employee and also looks like a gloomy shadow on a department that may be on the move. Above all, however, it is a question of the quality of life for the person concerned: Is it really acceptable to keep a job in middle age only because of practical constraints such as home loans, family and a lack of alternatives? The good news is: Passion can be brought back.

Worn down by incessant restructuring

There are many reasons for a lack of passion. Someone started a job for purely pragmatic considerations because there was no other offer in the region, and that's why they are still there - although the work is boring and there has been no real salary increase or promotion for years. A common factor is also fear of risk: there would have been opportunities, but they were let slip, for example because of insecurities in self-presentation or in social interactions (networking).

Others find themselves in the situation completely through no fault of their own. They did a good job and kept the department together under unreasonable conditions while one restructuring after another dragged on. They found themselves no longer taking new bosses and their plans seriously because they would soon follow the path of their predecessors, but they kept trying new projects just to see their failure. They stayed but paid a heavy price for it.

If you want to escape this and feel passion, joy and enthusiasm again, you have to change some serious things for yourself. Above all, this includes being able to believe again that a change is possible, that you can still make a difference and do something useful. That there are real options, internal or external, and that the dullness and gloom of the past don't have to continue. That is already a big step and for many only possible with a coach or therapist (if it is related to depression).

It is tempting to flee into private life, to want to "look after yourself more" and "be there more for the family". In many cases, a break is justified and in the private sphere you can actually catch up on a lot, for example to get enough sleep again, to cure postponed illnesses and to go to sport regularly. In the medium term, however, that alone is the path to loss of importance and even termination. Most teams are also so busy that colleagues can only get out to a limited extent.

Allow time for new explorations

If you don't intend to do this anyway or if you secretly wish, after a recovery phase, such as a four-week vacation, you should begin to trace your passions: What do I actually enjoy, what do I want to try out? With a little thought, routine tasks can often be shut down or deleted in order to have more time. Internal changes, rotations or internships are also good ways - in large companies often even abroad or at partner companies - or your own new projects. In short: external change is required for the internal new beginning.

Supervisors who have an employee who has given up notice this, of course, but are often unsure what to do - motivation is difficult to talk into someone. It is not a good solution to leave the employee in their misery and to increasingly ignore them, i.e. to reschedule the processes around them. On the one hand, this is often an undeserved reset, so not a fair and decent solution, but above all a wasted potential. There is someone who can do something and knows and has seen a lot.

You can suggest the measures just mentioned and help with the organization, knowing that this can only be an offer and that the employee has to decide for himself. It takes tact to show respect to someone in such a conversation and to describe his observations in such a way that he does not feel devalued or threatened, but realizes that something must and will change. Ideal: A joint action plan over six to twelve months. Often this is the first decisive impetus: to experience that someone believes in you again when you can't yet do it yourself.

To the author: Attila Albert (45) and his company Media Dynamics have been accompanying media professionals in their professional and personal reorientation for several years. Albert started working as a journalist himself at the age of 17. Initially with the "Freie Presse" in Chemnitz, one of the largest German regional newspapers, later a total of 23 years with Axel Springer, among other things as head of text and for special tasks at the "Bild" federal edition, then as an author at Ringier AG in Zurich. While working, he trained as a coach in the USA and previously completed a three-year web developer degree.

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