How to Find Joy in Your Job When You’re Bored With Your Work
One of the worst things for a high achiever is being bored at work. It can leave you feeling disengaged and like you don't want to do the work anymore — neither of which are good for your career.
If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. One of my readers asked:
“How do I tell my boss I’m bored? I was hired full time to work on employee relations issues, but I'm finding this job really could be a part-time position as it's more project-based than task-based. I love what I do, but I feel like I'm wasting my time and burning out the creativity candle. Any advice would be appreciated.”
Here are three ways to create your own work and make your job more engaging.
1. Share your aspirations
Start by sitting down with your boss and sharing your aspirations. You can also use this time to suggest ways you can add value through additional projects.
This strategy allows you to come up with your own ideas, instead of delegating upward. When you delegate upward, you take your problem to your boss and make it their problem. Not only does this create more work for your boss but it can also result in less helpful ideas, as your boss may not know exactly what you’re looking for.
Since you’re closest to the problem, it’s easier for you to suggest things that will make you happy and add value to your team.
2. Expand your horizons
If your boss doesn’t like the ideas you suggest or doesn’t have the authority to approve them, you can expand your horizons. Look for other teams with gaps and see how you can use your strengths to fill them. Make it your goal to find other people within your organization who need the kind of help only you can offer.
Check out my advice on How to Stop Being Underutilized at Work for 5 ways to create your own work and expand your sphere of influence without leaving your organization
3. Start a side gig
You can also start a side gig outside of your organization. First, make sure this is consistent with your contract both in the letter of the law and spirit of the agreement. Assuming it is, a side gig can act as a creative outlet for all of your ideas and be a great way to earn extra income.
Most people would be envious you can do your job in less time, leaving you with extra time to take on a side gig, so take advantage of it. Start working on a freelance basis, create a consistent business or do something in between.
Regardless of what you choose, starting a side gig can help you release your creative passion and ultimately energize you in the work you’re doing for your organization. It’s a win-win!
So, when you’re feeling bored at work, you can create work you enjoy by:
- Talking to your boss about your aspirations and suggesting ways you can add additional value.
- Expanding your horizons outside of your team, but still within the organization.
- Starting a side gig.
Have a question about your career? Ask me here.
Excellent advice! I feel what you have said really does make sense, even though I am officially retired from my career, I am volunteering on three different days each week and your advice is still very useful!!!
Thanks Ann. I’m glad this is useful to you in your volunteering roles.