Q. I am bored out of my mind with my job. Don't get me wrong; I'm grateful to have a job, but I've been doing the same thing for years and could do it in my sleep. How can you regain some enthusiasm for a job that you've been doing for years?
A. There are no permanently boring jobs, but there are people who have jobs that keep themselves in a boring prison of their own making.
The trouble with boring jobs is we get good at them. We like doing things we're good at and we stop thinking of other things we could do that might be interesting but might cause us to fail.
Most of us have two speeds at work: scared and bored. When we are doing what we know and playing it safe, we feel bored. When we are taking risks and learning new things we feel scared.
On any given day you can chose either to feel scared or bored, the problem comes when you only pick bored. Bored people end up feeling like they are stuck in a version of the movie "Groundhog Day" populated by zombies.
It may seem unfair that your only other option is to feel scared. However, consider the great explorers. Christopher Columbus, Lewis and Clarke, and Sir Francis Drake were definitely not bored; in fact, they risked sailing off the edge of their known worlds. I doubt any of these guys got up and contemplated another boring day at the office.
Next time you are so bored that even espresso isn't waking you up, make a list of everything you are scared to do at work. Now cross reference this list with everything your CEO might be excited for you to try. Any item that is on both lists is an excellent place for you to start to make your work rewarding again.
You can quietly and slowly start doing some of the items on your list. As you get results, you can even go in and formally pitch your boss on adding some of your new tasks to your formal job description.
As you rekindle your interest in your formerly "boring" job and expand your job description, you will set yourself up to get promoted to an even more interesting job. Promotions, raises and opportunities tend to come to the workplace explorers, not to the employees who only mindlessly perform their daily tasks.
You can always choose to be bored when you need a vacation from risk taking, but at least you won't feel trapped in a dead end job. Remember: apparent dead ends at work are often just secret passageways that require creativity to find the opening.
The last word(s)
Q. My boss is an idiot. Is there any perfect time to tell him how stupid he is?
A. Yes, retirement.
(Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at http://www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.)