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What do you do if you feel bored with work?

Many of you can relate to this scenario. You may be in the same job for a long time; know the job inside out and as a result, can do it effortlessly.

Or your boredom may stem from always going for similar job roles that you no longer enjoy.

You may be unsure of your next career move but feel more comfortable sticking to what you know.

If any of that sounds familiar, you are not alone. Eunice Asante shares some tips on how you can stave off boredom and get the most out of your career.

Research from a 2016 Udemy survey suggest that 43% of 1,000 full-time workers surveyed in the USA felt bored at work. According to the research, this figure was even higher in millennials. Read more here. Boredom can affect your overall performance at work and mental health.

I remember being offered a job for a large organisation with excellent pay, fantastic benefits, with a great location and a lovely team. The role, however, was boring and after six months in the job, I was itching to do something else.

I was considering taking some other roles that had come up in different departments, but my manager convinced me to stay. That was a big mistake.

My manager left for another organisation and opportunities for moving departments vanished, leaving me stuck in a job that I hated.

This experience taught me three things about how to tackle boredom at work.

Don't ignore it

Boredom at work is often a signal that you are no longer learning and growing or given opportunities to use and extend your strengths.

These feelings do not typically get better with time, and just resigning from your job is typically just a temporary fix as most of us tend to apply for very similar roles within the same field. If you don't address the root cause of boredom at work, there is always a risk of this returning in the future.

If I knew what I know now, I would have stayed within former organisations and strategically planned my next move to be one that benefited and challenged me.

This is why it is so important to apply for jobs aligned with who you are and the goals that you have set for yourself.

The worst thing you can do when experiencing boredom at work is to ignore the feeling. Remaining bored at work is bad news, as a worker identified as unmotivated and not producing is often in the firing line.

Disrupt yourself at work

The S-curve of learning framework, first applied by management thinker Charles Handy in the mid-1990s, describes the typical trajectory people experience when they start a new job. This is described as a period of slow progress when you start a new job role, followed by a rapid ascent as learning quickens and you master the skills required in the role, and then culminating in a sense of mastery at the peak.

Learning slows down and this stage, boredom at work is most likely to strike and it is easy to become complacent. Human beings are innately curious with a deep desire to learn new things.

Therefore, it is important to actively find ways to challenge yourself and channel the loss of energy back into something that ignites your passion for learning and enthusiasm for your role.

It's about creating an environment that allows you to jump from the top of the S-curve back onto the bottom of a new S-curve, which means that you are always learning and growing.

Plan ahead

Planning is invaluable because it us making poor decisions and through coaching, I have been able to help clients plan their options and make strategic moves based on their goals.

You can learn more about how to create a vision for your career and then identify the steps in between that will allow you to achieve your goals in my Career Journey Workbook here.

If you are serious about beating boredom at work, first ask yourself if your organisation is one you want to stay working for. If the answer is no, you should plan your exit strategy.

If the answer is yes, then ask yourself how you can step out your comfort zone and challenge myself?’ Beating boredom at work is about being proactive and finding new ways to create change and excitement.

You can do this by connecting your strengths and passions with resolving a work-based problem. Look at what is missing within the organisation and find ways to help your organisation address its needs.

It can start as small projects and grow with time. The most important thing is that being proactive will create a sense of newness, excitement, and responsibility. It will allow you to refocus your strengths and grow your skills.

If finding ways to solve workplace problems is not possible within your role, consider going for promotions or a secondment position. You could also develop new skills to work in other parts of the organisation, which may include changing roles completely.

You may benefit from changing teams or departments or asking for workplace mentoring.

The key is to focus on the value you will create and how this will benefit the organisation.

Focus on your goals

We will all feel bored with work from time to time, but there is a big difference between having a lacklustre week and feeling like your work has no meaning or purpose.

Work should be about thriving and not surviving boredom - you deserve better than that!

If you want to know more about this blog post or anything I've written from previous posts here, get in touch with me here:

Until next time

Eunice Asante

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