Making Your Job Work for You – Avoid the 3 B’s: Boredom, Blahs and Burnout

Making Your Job Work for You – Avoid the 3 B’s: Boredom, Blahs and Burnout boring

Sometimes, it’s just not in the cards to change jobs right away. People have very real reasons for needing to stay put and I’ve heard them all. One client has a son with asthma and working close to his school is essential for her peace of mind. Another has an incredible benefits package and an ill husband. The reality is, there are people who are not in a position to “follow their bliss” as Joseph Campbell recommended. But don’t despair, it doesn’t have to feel like a trap.

In an ideal situation, every person would have time with a career counselor or adviser before making career decisions. They would learn what their values are, what are their motivations and which environments tend to be the most stimulating. That’s not possible for a lot of folks. Clients sometimes talk about finding themselves in a job they never really enjoyed. If you’ve have landed in a job that’s just “ok” or you feel your wheels are spinning, STOP. The worst thing you can do is wake up and spend 8 hours going to a job you feel trapped in. Here are some concrete strategies for you:

  1. Work /Life Balance:

Make sure your tank is full outside of work. This can be difficult to put in to practice, but try to save yourself some time every week to do something you enjoy. If you’re exhausted after a long day, it can actually energize you to sign up for a class that interests you, take the dog to the park, meet up with colleagues or friends. Giving yourself things to look forward to is essential for a good life.

  1. Grow Your Skills:

Suppose you know you’ve got to stay at this job at least another 5 years and you don’t like the industry at all, or there is zero room for growth. That’s ok. You can begin to stockpile some new skills. An online course, a training program at the library or purchasing a new software to teach yourself – all great ways to keep your skills fresh when your circumstances change.

  1. Create a New Task:

In my former role as Assistant Director of Disability Services at a New York City University, activity came in huge spikes. Providing academic accommodations happens at the beginning of every semester and it’s a huge task. Once that dust had settled there was a bit of downtime; more than I was comfortable with. I had an idea for a newsletter, ran it by my supervisor and it was a go. It became my passion project and I enjoyed writing useful articles, collecting submissions from students who were served by my office and it creating a campus-wide presence. This, in turn, brought more students to my office who may not have considered seeking services. What is something you can do that excites you during downtime at work? Is there a project or role you can request to tap in to the skills that you enjoy using?

  1. Revitalize Your Job:

Sometimes it comes down to communication. When was the last time you spoke to your supervisor and expressed a genuine desire to have your skills more fully utilized by the company? How would it feel to say something like, “[Name of Supervisor], I am very dedicated to this company and to my job. I envision a future here. In the spirit of trying to keep my skills sharp, I’ve taken a course on ____ and I’m eager to apply some of what I’ve learned here. Can we talk about a way that I can modify my position to keep myself challenged?”

Here’s the bottom line: When you spend a significant amount of time not feeling engaged in what you’re doing, you owe it to yourself to make a change. If you can’t change your job, you can change how you respond to it. Don’t take a passive role. Whatever the reason is for you to feel that you must stay, is a benefit to you – not a trap. If there really is no conceivable way to make your work day better, than you need to look to the rest of your life and see where you can make improvements. Sometimes, work is just work. But you can leave the office and grab your superhero cape to go make waves in the world.

Visit the Careerfolk website to set up a free 15-minute consultation to see how we can help you.


About the Author:

Tava Auslan, MSEd, ACRW
Senior Coach, Certified Resume WriterTava Auslan, Senior Career Coach

Tava Auslan is a career counselor, certified resume writer and dancer. She received her BA in Psychology from SUNY Purchase and a Counseling Masters from Fordham University. Since 2002 she has partnered with her clients to give them clarity, confidence and concrete strategies for job search. Tava is known for her ability to help people assess their challenges, determine where they are stuck and offer tangible solutions to get them back on track. An astute writer, Tava earned her ACRW credential from Resume Writing Academy and crafts resumes that tell a compelling story for job seekers of all ages and stages. Tava has worked with a broad array of clients ranging from entrepreneurs, project managers, recent grads and engineers.





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