We’re all bored at work at some point. Some of us are even bored most of the time; some jobs are just plain boring. But just because the work you do isn’t as exciting as House of Cards doesn’t mean you have to actually let it make YOU boring, too.
If changing jobs and seeking out more challenging, meaningful work is not an option for you, there are ways of being less bored, no matter what you’re doing. Here are three things you can try instead of job hopping. But if you are looking for a new job, try to sign up for services that don’t require you to actively search.
Unless you’re an ER nurse, chances are there’s a bit of wiggle room in your schedule. And more and more employers are realizing how beneficial it can be to let employees work remotely for a few days out of the month. You’ll be surprised what a difference spending one day a week in your pajamas can make. The occasional mixing up of your routine—and avoiding your commute—can be a real treat. That day of work will almost feel like a vacation and will become something to look forward to.
If your day job is boring and your evening plan is to go home and watch reruns of The Good Wife with a microwave dinner from Trader Joe’s, there isn’t much going on in your life. No wonder you are bored! Try designating three nights every workweek to make plans with pals, take in a movie or a concert, or try that hip new restaurant. Having something to look forward to after the clock strikes 6 p.m. will have a surprisingly mood-boosting effect.
This seems counter-intuitive. But if you’re bored by what you’re doing, that might be because you aren’t being sufficiently challenged. Try asking your boss if there are any bigger projects you could start to transition into or find something new to do. Any long-term goals you could start chipping away at? Having a greater goal can light your fire and keep you getting to the desk each morning.
Learn Something New
Find something you are interested in, and invest some time to working on it. You never know, you might become really good at it and it could turn into a full-time job. There are a lot of online tutorials that you can watch to acquire a new hobby or skill. There are some meetup groups in your area that you can join to make your day more interesting and fun. Your life is much more than just your work. Take charge of your own life experience.
Go on Lunch Dates
There is a networking site online called “Let’s Lunch?” that can match you up with someone in your area for lunch during the workweek. You can connect your social profile, provide your availability and set a meeting place. The site will match you up with someone just like you. It’s a great way to grow your network without spending much time and effort.
Build Your Online Presence
Build a blog, read industry articles or blogs, write articles to you share your knowledge or your opinion on the topics of your interest. Commit to pushing something out at least once a week to keep your followers engaged. Don’t like blogging much? Start a podcast! Invite industry leaders to be interviewed on your podcast. You are not only boosting your own reputation online, you could also be building your second career.
You don’t have to be bored if you don’t want to be. There are always options worth exploring—even if you stay right where you are.