So it’s been awhile and you’re no longer the newest kid in the cubicle. You’ve made the right impression on your first day at the new job and you can network with the best of them. But what happens when you’ve made yourself at home and you’re no longer the freshest face in the office? You’re familiar with most tasks at this point and find yourself getting…bored. For many ambitious people, this is the point where you start feeling less conflicted about using your sick time on a sunny day or start scrolling through job boards looking for a new challenge. Instead of leaving a job you used to enjoy, try finding that enthusiasm again! Here are some things to try to shake off the boredom and feel better than ever about your career:
- Learn something new. You’ve only been working at your office for a bit, so there’s no way that you know absolutely everything about your company and the business in general. If you’re bored after a few months, it could simply mean that you’ve mastered the skills you need for that position and it’s no longer a challenge. Try shadowing others in the office; learn what their job responsibilities are and how your job and theirs can work together. You can also request more in-depth training on systems or tasks that you’ve done successfully. More than likely, what you’ve learned at the job since starting is only the tip of the iceberg. Besides keeping your mind occupied and alleviating your career boredom, showing interest in learning more about the company and your job will help you advance. Managers notice the employees who strive to do their best or better.
- Create opportunities. When you’re bored at work, it’s often the result of being uninspired by your assigned tasks. Obviously, you should still complete those tasks to the best of your ability. But the half of your brain not occupied by what you’re currently doing can be brainstorming new ideas for projects or ways to improve something about your position or the company. This doesn’t mean drafting a plan for implementing a two hour lunch break for everyone, but rather thinking about how you can make a task more efficient. Or you can consider proposing new projects the company can take on. The time brainstorming and drafting proposals and seeking advice from more senior coworkers will keep you engaged. You’ll also have the satisfaction of seeing something you’ve imagined come together.
- Gain perspective. Okay, this one might seem a little foolish. “Gain perspective,” you may be thinking harshly. “What does that even mean?!” It means take some time to make small changes to behaviors that are affecting your enthusiasm at work. You don’t have to wake up each day forcing yourself to think happy thoughts. That won’t make a difference for long. But instead of counting every second on the clock, waiting for your shift to end, concentrate on the work you need to accomplish. Don’t keep searching for a way to pass the time; doodles are great and may help you be less bored, but it’s not getting your job done. When you’ve completed your assigned work, offer to help others with theirs. Go to work with the intention of making the most of your day and you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make.
Realistically, you may try all of these things and still find yourself bored and unhappy. If you’ve put as much effort as possible into turning things around and you’ve worked your hardest and done your best, but still don’t seem to be getting anywhere, it may be time to start the process all over again. Being unhappy in your job for the right reasons isn’t shameful. It takes a while to find the right place, but once you do boredom won’t be bothering you at work anymore!