Do you find your job boring?
Most people find their jobs boring or at least some aspects of their jobs. Every career is filled with a combination of jobs and projects that, after a while, grow to be boring.
There are many reasons why jobs become boring. One is the lack of challenge.
Knowledge workers, people like you, arrive at a new job to begin a long training period during which there are challenges, frustrations, and successes. After a number of years of striving to perfect the techniques and skills necessary for the job, the adventure is gone.
There are differing degrees of boredom. The worst levels of boredom tend to drive people to decide to leave an otherwise great-paying job to seek a better job.
If you are at your wits end because of boredom and are thinking of leaving your job, before you do, take time to carefully assess the boredom of your current job in light of the immense difficulty of landing a job at some other company. I have written other Nuggets cautioning my readers about the tough job marketplace. There is a lot of talent out there and they are fighting for the same good-paying jobs you will. And, finding a new job can take as much as 24 months; some, much more time.
Before you quit your job because of boredom, try to find a way to revitalize yourself and your job. Doing so may reduce your risk across multiple fronts. You may also discover opportunities to enrich your resume and further improve your odds of landing a job sooner at some other company.
Here are some suggestions to help you break through your boredom barrier:
- Study other people and other companies producing similar products and services. Determine if there is something they are doing that you may be able to adopt to spice up your job.
- Learn something new. There is a great deal of knowledge, lessons, even entire courses available online of which many are available at no-charge. You ought to be able to find many subjects that will add more or new knowledge to what you already know to enhance your job, or allow you to add new skills.
- Find a problem to solve, one that is useful to your career and your company.
- Pick a product or service that is undervalued and find ways to pack it full of value.
- Find an area or process to improve.
- Volunteer to participate on some leading-edge team, with your manager’s support, of course.
- Join an association and participate in their meetings. Try to work your way onto their action committees or even higher up onto their board of directors.
- Combine strengths from various OTHER processes or products to create your own innovation of value to your employer. Innovations are plentiful if you borrow from other fields and functions, then adapt them to fit yours.
- In addition to the work you are already responsible for, ask your manager to assign more work but from some other job or function. During your approach, do NOT mention that you are bored. This will raise anxieties within your supervisor. Instead, explain that you feel and believe that you have mastered your current job and responsibilities and, because of that, you welcome additional challenge as well.
When knowledge workers who are bored become more engaged and excited, by rekindling that sense of adventure on the job, then great things can happen for both that knowledge worker and the company.
Let’s look at some examples. NOTE: I don’t have permission to mention names so will present these TRUE STORIES by referring to “he” and “she”. Remember this: these boredom busters are real people, real knowledge workers, just like you:
- Mechanical switch mats, to activate an electronic system at entrances at large buildings, tended to fail after tens of thousands of people trampled on them. It was costly to manufacture those mechanics plates and costly to transport them because of their weight and costly to replace them because it took two technicians due to the weight of the plates. A marketer was searching for ways to break through his boredom barrier and noticed this issue and its associated costs. He discussed the idea with a technician and together they engaged an electronics engineer to design a circuit as to support an optical sensor. A new product was born. An export business became a by-product. The result was a very healthy boost to the business profitability and to that knowledge worker’s career.
- A black belt within Six Sigma was bored after months on the job pretty much doing the same thing day in and day out. To spice up his job, he studied coding at night on his own, then began friendly hacking an existing software to make the entire documentation process more user-friendly and more efficient…Get this: he used Six Sigma tools to improve the Six Sigma process itself!! He did this on his own time to ensure no loss of productivity on his day job. When word go out, (within his company), he was asked to also teach the software and his techniques to other Black Belts and Green Belts within the companies Six Sigma network, globally. He presented to hundreds of employees and when the demand went viral, within his company, he built intranet training modules.
- A business manager who was bored convinces his company to send him on a 3-day environmental workshop. He borrows environmental assessment techniques to revitalize the sales process used by his sales team. That gave birth to a unique form of auditing for the company’s customers’ manufacturing processes. That manager had to teach it to each person on his team. That process became a tool and vital step and a value-added to their sales process.
- After years of trying to close a major sales opportunity, and during that period of time repeatedly being requested to give the same presentation to multiple parties, the sales representative responsible was both bored and frustrated. He makes a decision to change the tone and the demonstration techniques and suddenly lands the sale. Because of him, a laboratory product designed for another purpose is brought to market years before it was intended. The customer was delighted. Millions of units were produced to satisfy the “sudden need”. Subsequently, the company enjoyed nearly 2 decades of multi-million dollar profits. The sales representative was granted a significant promotion.