Q: What can I do to feel more engaged in my job?  I feel burned out, and my work is no longer interesting to me.

A: First of all, know that you are not alone. Weak engagement in the workplace has become an epidemic. According to Gallup, a mere 13% of employees feel "psychologically committed to their jobs,"1 with women reporting slightly higher levels of motivation.2

Second, you are absolutely, positively correct to be concerned about this, because engagement can directly affect your career success. Fully engaged employees are 2.5 times more likely to exceed performance expectations than their "disengaged" coworkers, according to consulting firm the Hay Group.3 So if feeling connected at work is so critical, what can you do to reignite the fire in your belly?

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  1. Search out a good boss, mentor or work buddy. Research from Gallup shows that engagement among women can be driven by relationship-based criteria, for example, having a manager or supervisor who cares or a best friend at work.4
  2. Learn more about your company's mission, how it's making a difference in the world, and what your role is in helping your organization make it happen. Educate yourself about your company's products and services and how they help your customers, and what your company is doing to be socially responsible through corporate philanthropy and good works in the community. Then trace how you, through your job, contribute to your company's overall success. Finding the meaning in what you do will help lift the day-to-day doldrums and give you a sense of greater purpose.
  3. Focus on your financial health and goals. No matter how much we may like our work, every job has its ups and downs. When you hit a speed bump, think about your financial goals, and how your job — and your salary — are moving you one step closer to making them a reality. 

1 Gallup 10/03/13 http://www.gallup.com/poll/165269/worldwide-employees-engaged-work.aspx

2 Gallup State of the American Workplace report 2013 http://www.gallup.com/services/178514/state-american-workplace.aspx

3 The Hay Group http://www.haygroup.com/us/services/index.aspx?id=1697

4 ibid