7 Ways to Find Inspiration in the Workplace

woman smiling at work

Do you find yourself googling inspirational quotes to print out and tape to your desk just to give yourself a mental boost? Losing inspiration at work can do more than make the day drag on— it can leave you feeling drained, uninterested, and disengaged from your day-to-day life. 

With today’s workforce craving a sense of purpose more than ever before, finding inspiration in the workplace has become a hot topic. How do you ignite that spark and keep it lit when you just aren’t feeling it

stat: About 70% of people say they define their purpose through work
Source: McKinsey & Company

7 Tips to Find Inspiration at Work

Inspiration at work won’t always come to you— sometimes you have to seek it out. Here are seven ways to find purpose and fulfillment in the workplace. 

1. Understand what fulfills you. 

Before you go about making changes to your daily routine, it’s important that you understand what fulfills you. Does problem solving leave you with a sense of accomplishment? Does showcasing your creative abilities excite you? Does contributing and being a part of a team bring you joy? Are you at your best when you’re helping others? Understanding what motivates you in the work that you do is key to rediscovering your inspiration at work. 

But knowing what drives you may not be obvious. It may take some reflection and soul-searching to really get to the bottom of what engages you most. Be honest with yourself and don’t make assumptions. For instance, being an extrovert doesn’t necessarily mean that the most fulfilling part of your job is working with others or talking to customers. 

Think about when you’ve felt fulfilled at work in the past. What were you doing? What was most exciting about that task? What things outside of work bring you the most joy and why? This process likely won’t happen overnight. Give yourself some time to really reflect and think about what brings you satisfaction. 

2. Look for ways to integrate your passions into your day-to-day.

Once you find what motivates you at work, look for ways to integrate this in your day-to-day routine, even if it’s small. If connecting with people fuels you, go out of your way to speak to more coworkers. If creative endeavors fulfill you, ask to be a part of projects where you can flex your artistic muscles.

Even if your passions aren’t related to your job, there are still ways to infuse your day with things that you love. This may look like:

  • Hosting a lunch-and-learn event to talk about an initiative or cause that excites you
  • Starting a Slack channel to discuss hobbies with coworkers that share similar interests
  • Changing up your daily routine to include a walk in a nearby park during your break, trying new restaurants near the office, etc. 

Sometimes incorporating even the smallest things that you are passionate about can have a big impact on your day. 


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3. Have a discussion with your manager.

Your manager can be a huge help on your hunt for inspiration. If you have a good relationship with your boss, don’t be afraid to tell them about your situation. Explain that you feel that you could better serve yourself and the company if given the opportunity to do more fulfilling work. Together, you can work to find solutions like: 

  • Giving you different or more challenging responsibilities 
  • Learning a new role from different teams within your organization
  • Developing plans for growth within the company

If you feel nervous to broach the subject, remember that it is an employer’s best interest for their employees to feel valued, engaged, and driven. 

4. Reflect on how your role contributes to the whole.

Even if your organization has a worthwhile mission, people in specialized roles can sometimes feel distant from what the company as a whole is achieving. You might wonder things like, “How does my role as a junior accountant have any impact on what our company is doing?” 

It can help to sit back and look at the big picture. No one person in your organization is solely responsible for its success. It’s a team effort that requires work, skill, and dedication from everyone involved. Even if you aren’t directly working with clients or customers, your work enables the people who do to do their job effectively. 

two men looking at computer
Photo via Unsplash

5. Seek more challenges.

A job can start to feel stale and unfulfilling when we fall into a routine of doing the same tasks day after day. Finding ways to challenge yourself can inject some much-needed energy into your work life. 

We previously mentioned that you can speak to your manager about taking on more challenging tasks, but that isn’t the only way to approach this. You can also introduce challenges at work by:

  • Learning new skills on your own time
  • Avoiding procrastination and being proactive about tasks that need to get done
  • Speaking up at work when colleagues are looking for ideas or input
  • Asking for feedback and finding areas for improvement at work

By taking initiative and going outside of your comfort zone at work and trying new, challenging things, you may find a spark of inspiration and a greater sense of purpose. 

6. Recognize that your job allows you to fund other passions. 

Not everyone will find fulfillment at work. For some, a job is just that— a job. Family, friends, pets, and hobbies will take priority over the work that you do from 9-5 and be your main source of inspiration and joy. 

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, but going through the motions each day without a sense of purpose can leave you feeling drained. Recognizing that your job and steady income is used to fund your true passions can give you a little extra motivation while you’re punched in. 

7. Find an employer that shares your values.

Perhaps your current employer simply isn’t a good fit for you— and that’s okay! Not every job is going to be a match for every employee. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut at your current job, it might be time for a career change. 

Should you decide to search for a new job, look for an employer that shares your values and has a sense of purpose beyond making money. 

Find the right employer with JobSage

We understand that finding an employer with a sense of purpose is important to jobseekers. That’s why we’ve created an employer review site centered around what matters most— inclusion, growth, purpose, feedback, flexibility, and compensation. Join JobSage for guidance in your job search or to leave a review for your employer to create a more open, transparent conversation around the workplace.

Cover photo via Unsplash