Is Boredom Setting In
April 5, 2018
I can’t tell you how many times at conferences, on the train, or at social events that I meet people who are admittedly bored in their job. For some, it’s because they’ve been doing the same job for far too long. For others, the newness has worn off, and for others they have come to realize they are in a job they don’t like. All I can think when I run into these folks…how unfortunate. There is no doubt that every job has aspects we don’t like or we find less than exciting, but overall, you should enjoy the work you do, take pride in it, and continue to seek ways to improve and grow. Your job is a very large part of your life, it represents 50% or more of our waking hours, so what we do to earn a living, should be something we also enjoy.
So, what if you have become bored? Is there anything you can do?
If your job has become little more than a set of tasks you aim to complete between set hours until you can go home, then it’s time to create a spark, find some internal or external energy to catapult you out of that boredom zone. But how? There are three things you can do to eliminate boredom:
- New Project: Find a project to work on that is interesting – you’ll get through the more monotonous parts much quicker to work on the new project. Not only will this reinvigorate you, but volunteering to take on a new project is a great way to get noticed by senior management.
- Process Improvement: Spend a little time looking at your process, what can be improved? Are there elements or steps that can be eliminated or condensed? If you aren’t sure how to approach this process or where to begin, consider taking a course on process improvement. By examining the process and identifying areas that can be streamlined or improved, you create more time for more interesting work. And by identifying waste whether it be of time or money, you will get noticed, which may better position you for a promotion.
- Professional Growth: Do you need or want to learn a new skill? Find the course whether that be a credit or non-credit course, face-to-face or online – sign up (many employers will reimburse you for professional development costs – if approved beforehand). By enhancing your knowledge or your skills, you may be able to take on other projects or you may better position yourself for a promotion.
If these steps do not help you reign in the boredom, it may be time to look for a new job. But keep in mind, without growth, your next position will be just that – another job – one in which you will likely become bored again. By focusing on growth in your current position, you will open new doors – both internally and externally, which held to keep boredom at bay, and better position you for the next steps along your career path.
Anne Converse Willkomm
Assistant Clinical Professor
Department Head of Graduate Studies