The roles you perform change as you get promoted and progress through your career. You can find that you simply don’t get to do the things you loved doing any more; the things that attracted you in to the industry in the first place.

Equally, the more senior we become, the more we have to deal with difficult, un-fun things: politics, redundancies, governance, managing people and budgets etc. These can be a far cry from the sweet spot of the things you used to thrive on.

Comprehensive research* shows that we tend to be most engaged and perform at our best when we get to spend at least some time each daydoing the things that we love doing most.  This raises a few questions which might be worth addressing:

  • Are you clear what you do love doing most at work?
  • Are you able to tailor your role so that you can use your strengths and do what you’re good at?
  • Are you able to tailor your team so that you can concentrate on what you’re best at and, others with different strengths, can complement you?

If the answer to these last two questions is no, then it might be worth think about how to get in to a new role.


Do what you love

As for the first question, it can be surprisingly hard to think about what you love doing and what your Strengths really are**.  We don’t tend to have a clear, agreed vocabulary for what these things might be. And often, enjoyable pieces of work are actually bundles of lots of different things – some fun and some less so!

I’d recommend thinking about what you’ve enjoyed most (preferably in the last six months) and then really drilling down in to the moment which you really enjoyed.


Click this link for advice on how to define what your strengths are and to be clear about what you love doing

Click this link if work isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be



*  Most notably by the Gallup organisation, detailed by the researchers themselves in “First Break All the Rules” Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

**  Incidentally, I’m using what you love and what you are strong at almost interchangeably here. This is not always true, but the overlap will almost certainly be close enough not to worry about the difference.