Advertising
Advertising

What to Do When You’re Super Bored at Your Job

What to Do When You’re Super Bored at Your Job

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.

Advertising

Telecommute

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.

Make Plans

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.

Advertising

Do More

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

Jessie Liu

Marketing

Get a Job in Any Field, No Matter What You Major In 5 Interview Questions Everyone Should Be Prepared To Answer bored at work What to Do When You’re Super Bored at Your Job 7 Reasons Your Humanities Major Doesn’t Mean Unemployment 4 Steps to Fixing Major Work Mistakes

Trending in Career Advice

1 Clueless On Your Career? Sabbatical vs. Career Break 2 9 Tips for Starting a New Job and Succeeding in Your Career 3 10 Essential Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself This Year 4 10 Job Search Tools Every Jobseekers Need To Know About 5 If You Have This Key Behavior, You’ll Be More Successful Than 90% Of People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

Advertising

2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

Advertising

Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

Advertising

5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

Advertising

Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next