So, you hate your job? Perhaps you started it full of enthusiasm, but the monotony, bureaucracy and workplace politics have ground you down and it’s time to leave. And even though you’d love to quit on the spot, you probably need to hang in there while you figure out an exit plan. So, how do you avoid becoming bitter and jaded in the meantime? Here are five ways to make a boring job more bearable and interesting.
Find a new project to get excited about
You may be focused on everything you hate about your job right now, but if you’re going to be stuck in that job for a few more months, you’re not doing yourself any favours. You can make your boring job more bearable by focusing on the good.
“But there’s NOTHING good about this job!”
If that was your immediate thought, challenge that. The next time you are in the office, take a good look around and ask yourself: “Is there anything happening in this company that I find interesting?”.
Once you identify something you find remotely interesting, start thinking of ways to get involved in that thing. Explore ways your department or role can be improved by adding aspects of your new interest to your role. Once you are clear on how to sneak this interest into your daily role, pitch it to manager. As long as you present the suggestion in terms of how it can help the company, you’ll find that most bosses will allow you to incorporate it into your role.
However, if your boss is stuck in his or her ways and says no, move on to step two.
The next time you are in the office, take a good look around and ask yourself: “Is there anything happening in this company that I find interesting?”
Find an interest to nurture in your spare time
Sometimes a boring job is beyond saving. Sorry! However, you can still preserve your sanity by having something to get excited about outside of work. A new after work interest is ideal. You will wake up each day feeling excited about the new activity you will be doing after work. And even if you’ve had a horrendous day at work, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, ask yourself: “What am interested in and how can I do more of that?”. It could be taking learning a new language, an instrument, joining a sporting team or anything else. The only thing to remember is to make it fun, stress-free and easy to stick to.
Focus on your new destination
Rather than torture yourself by continuously reminding yourself of everything you hate about your job, focus on your upcoming job or career.
Ask yourself: “What can I do in this job that will give me a head start in my next role?”. Explore how you can pick up some of the new skills you need while you are still in your current job. This could involve:
- shadowing people in other departments
- using expensive software that your company has a subscription for
- scheduling coffee dates with colleagues who have the type of knowledge you could benefit from
Ask yourself: “What can I do in this job that will give me a head start in my next role?”.
Turn your job into a ‘what can I get from this’ game
Most people are so desperate to leave a boring job, they forget to take advantage of the great things currently on offer to them. Whether that’s a generous training budget that allows you to take courses you’d never pay for yourself or small perks we often take for granted – like discounts with affiliated brands, free gym memberships, health insurance or exposure to an influential network – start using them… all.
Make it a mission to use a new benefit each week and revel in the fact that the job you hate so much isn’t just paying you a salary, it’s helping you improve other areas of your life. This thought alone should help to make a boring job more bearable.
Do all the things you’ve been putting off
If you’re counting down to leaving your boring job, it’s easy to forget that once you leave, you’re gone. What are the things you’ve been meaning to do that you never get around to doing? Are there some colleagues and superiors you look up to and would love to get advice from? Is there a department that does exciting work you’d love to learn more about? Is your office located near a really interesting place you keep planning on visiting, but never do? What are you waiting for? Now is the time to shake up your routine and do those things you’ll look back on and regret not doing.
Trying to figure out your next career move?
Sign up for our weekly Get Unstuck emails. They will walk you through your stuck moment and give you the advice and tools you need to create the career you want… one week at a time.