You’re certainly not alone if you’re sick and tired of your job. A 2009 survey taken by the Conference Board, an independent global research firm, found that only 45 percent of American workers were actually satisfied with their jobs. That compares to 61 percent in 1987. The drastic drop had nothing to do with the economy, increased workplace safety or added vacation days, either. Looks like it’s up to you to make your work enjoyable – or at least bearable – until you can find your bliss.
Look for opportunities to add challenges to your daily grind. Sign up for training classes when they’re offered. You might just land in an area that you never knew you’d enjoy. You'll not only spice up your workday, but maybe add dollar signs to your paycheck when you get a big promotion after updating your skills.
Talk straight to your boss. Let her know that you are bored with your job and that you need more challenges. Ask to take on extra work or to change your hours. Suggest options such as working from home part of the time or changing the hours you work. Find out if there are other departments you might be able to transfer to where you’ll fit better. If you’re a reliable and loyal employee, chances are the company will make an effort to keep you.
Kick up your outside interests a notch and make a commitment to follow up on those ideas you’ve had about taking up a new hobby, writing a book or joining a fitness club. Once you build enthusiasm and zest for life through your outside activities, your attitude will rub off and transfer to your regular work duties, making the days a little more palatable.
Develop an exit strategy. Start making plans to retire or leave the job. Cut way back on your spending so you can stick more into savings and investments. Put plans in motion to start a second career that you can support with the help of your savings since you most likely won’t be starting at the top. Start your own business, again tapping into the funds you’ve accumulated while you stick it out at work until you’re ready to leave. You’ll be able to withstand the boredom of your current situation when you can see a light at the end of tunnel and when you visualize your future and think of your goals.
- Take stock of the situation by making lists of the pros and cons of your job before taking any drastic measures like flat-out quitting. The proverbial grass may look greener on the other side, when in actuality your grazing grounds are pretty darn tasty. Think of past jobs you held and measure the satisfaction you felt previously with what you’re going through now. You may discover that you really don’t have it so bad and can adjust your attitude to appreciate what you’ve got.
- Be careful about letting your dissatisfaction show and getting complacent at work, especially if you’re not prepared financially to lose the job. Eventually, your boss will notice your lack of enthusiasm, your low productivity numbers or your missed deadlines and replace you with someone who really wants the job.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."