Eight Ways to Beat Boredom and Revive Your Career
Thursday, July 5, 2007.
Boredom at work is a generations-old problem. However, whereas our unmotivated forefathers may have simply daydreamed or zoned out -- today's workers tend to lose themselves in text messages, cell phone calls or other distractions.
If you find yourself thinking about everything but your job at work, it's time to take action. Start by asking yourself why you don't feel motivated. Did you outgrow the job or never like it to begin with? Have you become disenchanted with the company or your line of work? Or are there personal issues at play? Once you pinpoint the source(s) of your malaise, you can choose from one or more of the following solutions to get off of autopilot and take back control of your career:
1. Reposition Yourself at Your Current Company.
Many people don't realize the options available to them because they don't realize all they have to offer.
Review the contributions you make to the organization, and ask yourself:
What strengths and competencies do I bring to the table?
How have I grown in the past year?
What on-the-job accomplishments am I most proud of?
Then, keep your "opportunity antennae" up by listening carefully in meetings and scouring your company newsletter for ways you can put your skills to use on special projects, task forces or emerging areas of your company.
2. Learn Something New.
Think about what your company or industry perceives as areas for future growth and what skills are likely to be in demand. Request company-provided training in these areas, or read up or take a class on your own.
3. Ask for Feedback.
Many people become bored and unmotivated when they feel ignored or unappreciated. Are you getting the feedback you need to grow? If not, ask your manager for an informal feedback or career-planning discussion.
4. Seek More Visibility.
Calling attention to yourself (in a good way) is a sure way to shake off the doldrums, establish yourself as an expert and advance your career. Submit articles to trade journals or your company newsletter, volunteer to speak at professional conferences, or offer to share your experiences with a particular project at a group or company-wide meeting.
5. Expand Your Circle of Influence.
Stay in touch with current and former colleagues, executive recruiters and members of your trade or professional association. Find out what's happening inside and outside the company and let people know the types of projects you're interested in working on.
6. Go on Job Interviews.
Even if you're not sure you want to leave your current employer, interviews are great for expanding your network, broadening your outlook and identifying gaps between the skills you have and the skills you need for a more satisfying position.
7. Reconnect With an Earlier Passion.
While advancing in our careers, we often move away from our original goals. Reconnecting with those interests through moonlighting or volunteer work can help you find more meaningful and interesting career options.
8. Get Some Rose-Coloured Glasses.
For everything there is a season. If a job- or career-change just doesn't make sense for you right now, accept it and make the best of it. List all the things you really love about your work and keep it in your top desk drawer as a reminder. Seek out and spend time with enthusiastic colleagues in your company and field to keep you energized and upbeat. Set goals and reward yourself with treats such as evenings out with friends or buying that book or CD you've been wanting.
If you're just going through the motions, you're not only short-changing your employer, you're depriving yourself of a sense of accomplishment that is vital to a satisfying career. Either way, its time to find a job you love or learn to love the job you're with.
Careerbuilder.com is an international online job website, with branches in the UK, USA and Canada.
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