Career Tip of the Month

How to Make the Best of a Boring Job

Is your job boring? Most of us will end up working in a job that was not what we expected, or one that turns out to be too routine for our tastes. Boring jobs often happen at the beginning of our career path (think entry-level positions that we quickly outgrow) or near the end of our career path (think 25 years of doing the same old thing).

Before jumping ship at the first opportunity, decide if the time and circumstances are right for moving on. If your circumstances are such that quitting isn?t an option at this point in time, then please consider these tips for making the best of a boring situation.

10 Tips for Making the Best of a Boring Job

1. Focus on the people. If your work is mundane, focus on cultivating relationships at work, provide extra support for co-workers whom you like, or your customers. You will often be rewarded with appreciation and a smile in return that will break up the boredom and make your work more meaningful.

2. Volunteer to help others. If you believe someone could use some extra help in a role that involves more challenge than yours, volunteer to assist them. Always make sure that you?ve met your primary responsibilities, and you have the approval of your supervisor.

3. Don?t sabotage your career. How you handle your job, whether you love it or not, speaks volumes about you as an employee. Remember that you are still being paid and that you are gaining skills that can propel you to the next level. Strive for excellence in even the most minor of tasks and do so with a positive attitude. Avoid the temptation to complain, slack off, or develop a poor attitude. Others will recognize your work ethic and possibly give you more responsibility or recommend you for a more challenging position.

4. Get involved in other aspects of the company. Join the company softball team, participate in the annual golf-tournament, 5K race, or community fund-raiser. Be the fun person at work. Think of ways to have fun at work, without sacrificing quality or production.

5. Develop relationships with potential mentors who can help open up more stimulating pathways within the organization. Ask your mentors for assistance about the best approach for expanding your role.

6. Appreciate the benefits of a boring job. Appreciate the fact that you are not stressed or take work home with you. Look for ways to meet your needs and interests outside of work. A boring job might leave you with the time and energy to pick up a new hobby, volunteer at the animal shelter, or learn to play an instrument. Volunteering will also give you some new skills and experience for your resume. Developing a richer life outside of work will help put your job into the proper perspective.

7. Take some classes after work to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Learning something new always produces intellectual stimulation. There are many free and low-cost classes online. Check with your HR department to see if your company offers any tuition reimbursement benefits.

8. Volunteer for a more challenging or interesting project. Get involved in a more interesting project at work that will add meaning and stimulation to your day. You may even be able to use these projects to promote yourself to a more challenging position within the company.

9. Try to improve your current job. When do you feel most energized? What parts of your job do you truly enjoy? Are there ways to spend more time on the most interesting aspects of your job? Can you swap jobs with co-workers? Present a plan to your supervisor with emphasis on how the unit will benefit.

10. Formulate a clear plan for your next job. Concentrating on the future will help you to look past your current boring position and have hope for the future. Spend some time researching more exciting career options and doing the things you need to build your background for that next job. Discuss your career growth interests and plans with your boss, supervisor, or mentor.

Even if there is a reason to stay in that boring job for now, remember that you don?t have to stay there forever. Begin making plans for your next job today.