Are you feeling uninspired at work?
By Hebba Youssef
^ live footage of me some days.
Have you ever felt like you’re in a rut at work? Where most days feel like you’re on autopilot, nothing feels exciting and the tasks seem endless.
No, you’re not dead inside.
You must just be uninspired.
The last few years have been tough. I’m like a broken record talking about how HR teams have been tasked with more and more with every passing day and its impact, like:
- 98% of HR professionals are burned out
- 94% of HR professionals have felt overwhelmed in the past 6 months
- 88% of HR professionals stated they dreaded work
Real talk: our work has the possibility to be super inspiring but we’re also grappling with:
- Lack of impact: Sometimes, we can’t change things and damn that can be demoralizing.
- Organizational culture: Not all cultures are inspiring and we’re often tasked with carrying out initiatives we don’t fully believe in. Cough RTO cough.
- Admin overload: between payroll, compliance, and benefits it can feel like a lot of our job is paperwork.
- Lack of development: when we’re constantly thinking about everyone around us and their development we don’t always have energy for our own development.Then we feel stuck and like we’re not learning.
So, yeah it’s not surprising that you might be uninspired but I have 3 tips that can hopefully bring that spark of inspiration back into your work
1. Find your community
Have you found your people? You know the ones who just get you?
Having someone to share ideas with, get tips from, collaborate on solutions or even commiserate with is life-changing. Some of my closest friends are in HR and deeply understand my challenges!
BTW: Access to a community of folks that share your interests and beliefs can greatly impact your inspiration.
📣 It’s what inspired me to create Safe Space.
I wanted to build a community of HR professionals by HR professionals.
Because I needed to find a community of people that I could talk to about my struggles.
In the community we’re having convos about things like:
- Manager training – wtf do we do?
- Return to office – how do we balance this?
- What to do about I-9 verification?
- Salary and benchmarking data
Bonus: we’re not just talking about work, we’re also:
- Celebrating wins
- Sharing defeats
- Screaming about an annoying situation (anonymously!)
- Diving into other things that inspire us across books and pop culture
Because every HR person deserves a space where they can just be themselves!
Double bonus: when you have a community of people who understand your struggles the possibilities are endless.
✔️ Voila inspiration!
2. Harness your energy
What excites you? What doesn’t?
FYI: knowing the answer to these questions will be important to understanding what inspires you.
Here’s an exercise for you!
At the end of every day answer these two following questions:
- What gave you energy today?
- What drained your energy today?
After a week look over what you wrote down. Are there any themes?
Maybe you’re energized by data analysis and drained by presenting.
Ideally, your days are filled with tasks or projects that give you energy and feed your inspiration! But even better, now you know what is draining your energy at work.
That is powerful.
Pro-tip: Spread the tasks that give you energy over the course of a work week so you’re getting daily boosts of energy rather than doing all the tasks you love first then the rest of the week you’re doing tasks you dread.
BTW: always doing tasks that drain you will contribute to your burnout.
Managers: are you struggling with someone on your team who doesn’t know how they want to grow in their career? Have them work on this exercise and every two weeks chat about major themes. From there you may be able to spot a growth plan / career direction for them!
3. Explore what is out there
New trends, new jobs, new laws, new books. So much new out there! Any/all types of exploration can lead to inspiration.
3 new things that are worth exploring:
- Trends in the HR world. Now, take whatever you read with a grain of salt but some of my most inspirational moments have come from learning what else is out there! Following creators on platforms like Linkedin/Twitter/Tiktok can bring new ideas to the forefront. Those new ideas can fuel your creativity and inspiration at work. I’m always googling trends in HR to figure out what else is out there!
- New jobs: I’m not suggesting you quit your job but I am suggesting always keeping your eyes open for what else is out there. I love reading through job descriptions and seeing what other roles are out there. See something you find really intriguing in a job description? Find a way to incorporate into your current role. If you still are struggling with inspiration and keep gravitating to other jobs well you know what to do! YOLO.
- New books: Did you know fiction readers are more creative problem solvers? Now, I know reading isn’t for everyone but there are so many great books full of amazing new worlds that may spark something for you. I truly love sci-fiction/fantasy because you’re introduced to new societal structures and unique challenges. I find myself SO inspired when I’m reading regularly.
Pro-tip: Block 15-30 minutes every day and try adding 1 new thing to your week. That daily boost of new will fuel inspiration.
I know it’s hard to make daily time for yourself but please be selfish! Inspiration fuels creativity, happiness and wellbeing!
Ugh Christopher, don’t love him. But I love this line!
Inspiration can come from anywhere. The 3 tips I shared above can spark something for you or they don’t.
As always, take what you need and leave what you don’t!
Spoiler alert: it’s hard to be inspired if you are burned out and overwhelmed.
Next week, I’ll dive into what employees want from HR and how it could be contributing to your burn out!