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The cup of coffee is a lifeline…

The cup of coffee is a lifeline, while it lasts, she can ignore it. Ignore the dragging feeling in the pit of her stomach. Rain droplets run in nonsensical paths down the window, why is it always raining she thinks. She wants to cry but won’t allow herself. Remembering how she treated her husband before he left for work that morning, she hangs her head in shame.

Yet its stupid. Daft. Selfish. After all she has a really good job, one other’s would be desperate for.

How can she not want to go to work?

Her employer is positive and flexible. She has a really good team and supportive colleagues.

Yet she hates it.

Why?

She doesn’t feel challenged and stretched. Mentally she isn’t being pushed – in short, she’s bored!

That was me. A few years ago, that was me. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because it felt so stupid and selfish. How can being bored at work be an issue? Honestly…

The reality though is I’m someone who likes to be pushed and challenged regularly. Which means if I’m not moving forwards in my career and developing myself, I get bored and frustrated. Now this doesn’t happen overnight, and it varies from role to role. I can be in a role for 2 years and need a change, or it can be 5 years. But sure, as night turns to day when I can do that role standing on my head it’s time to move onwards and upwards…and if I don’t make a change, don’t underestimate how debilitating it can be.

Bored? How do I know…

So how can you tell if you’re truly bored at work?

Clock-watching – you’re counting down the hours to 5pm, the weekend, public holidays and annual leave. Now we all have days like this but if you’re like this most days then somethings wrong. If this is you something in your work is not pushing and motivating you.

Daydreaming – you’re always thinking about where else you could be. On that holiday you’ve planned walking the Lakeland Fells. Planning the dinner party, you’ve arranged for the weekend. You’re anywhere but in the office focusing on your tasks. If this is, you you’re not challenged enough.

Performance – contradictory as this sounds your performance starts to dip as you tick the boxes and do the minimum amount required. You’re not driven to achieve more, and this can have a detrimental affect on your professional reputation.

Chatting – we all love a good chat at work but if it becomes the main focus of your day then something’s not working for you. You’ll start to damage your relationship with your team as other’s start to realise they love to chat to you, but it becomes more obvious you’re not pulling your weight.

Social Media – while it’s a great tool and it has its place, if you’re spending more time on Facebook than your current work project – you’ve got a problem.

Hunting for a new job – yet never doing anything about it. You look, you dream but the thought of dumping your current employer is terrifying. You don’t take any action but look and always wonder about the grass being greener…

Filling your time – filling your time outside of work with as many new hobbies as you can. While you’re not getting the mental stimulation at work, you’re looking for it outside of work. The upshot of this is not having a break, time to chill out and relax and eventually you burn yourself out.

Bored! What can I do…

So, if you’re suffering from boredom at work then you need to do something about it….and that starts by taking control yourself. After all it’s your career…

You need to start by deciding what you want? Where is the next step for you? What do you want next from your career? I had a client whose next step was a sideways move to build her experience & skill in a specific field rather than a direct move upwards. So be frank and honest with yourself about where your journey will take you next. If you need a little helping hand here check out ‘How these 5 Tips Made Me Successful’

Speak to your boss. See if there are any stretch projects you can take on to develop yourself. Talk frankly about potential promotion opportunities, tell your boss where you want to be. Don’t be frightened if your ultimate goal is their job. If they don’t support you, then you have your answer….

Look at external professional development options: courses, conference, workshops, volunteer opportunities. Anything you can do yourself to get you closer to that goal.

Network. Network. Network. You need to proactively build those networks; they’ll be invaluable as you start to move forward.

Plan out a ‘Career Search Action Plan’ – this involves looking at everything needed to get you to a new role from absolute clarity on the role you want, your CV, LinkedIn, networking etc. to actually getting the new role.

Have a long-term plan beyond the next career step. Why? To prevent boredom setting in again…always have a plan, always know where you are going….

If you want to know a little more about the ‘Career Search Action Plan’ sign up for the email course below…

For a quick hit of happiness to give you a short term boost check out

‘The 5 Best Tips for achieving Happiness at Work’