You have dreams of bigger and better things -- but for now, you're stuck in that manufacturing job you despise. The boredom you may feel during work may be more than annoying. It may also lead you to deviant acts such as theft, sabotage or withdrawal -- all less-than-ideal methods of coping, since they could get you fired. Even if it isn't what you want, you're going to have to find more positive ways to approach your manufacturing job in order to survive.
You're probably working for one very good reason: you need the money. While that manufacturing job probably doesn't pay all that much, try to remember that it's a means to an end. If you can, start putting away even a small amount of money with each paycheck, and develop a goal or savings plan to get something that you want. When you're working toward a goal, it may be easier to get through the drudgery. Also keep in mind that you've chosen to be there, and if you really hate it, you can start to look for another job.
Another way to cope is to try to find diversions to keep your mind occupied throughout the day. If you're working a job that requires a lot of activity with your hands or body, you may be able to wear a set of headphones and listen to music or audiobooks throughout the day. If that's a possibility in your job, you may be able to learn a new language or tackle the classics -- even while you're working that boring job. Also, look to co-workers with whom you can bond; even if they're not people you'd hang with outside of work, new, different people can give you perspective on the world and cut through the boredom.
Like all jobs, your manufacturing job likely provides you the mandated breaks and lunch times that all employees are entitled to. Instead of sitting in the break room and wallowing in your misery, do something active. Find a simple walking route that you can do during your 10-minute break. Go for a longer walk or ride your bike during your lunch break, or invite some of your co-workers to walk with you. If you're fortunate enough to have an exercise room at your workplace, take advantage of it. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind.
Another option for dealing with the boredom requires the help of the management at your workplace -- rotating jobs. Studies have shown that workers in manufacturing jobs can cut the boredom and improve their skills by rotating jobs on a regular basis. Try presenting the idea to your bosses, letting them know that while your training period may reduce productivity for a while, the overall effect may be increased productivity.
- The Daily Mail: How Work Boredom is the New Stress... and It Affects Everyone from Office Workers to Those on the Afghan Frontline
- EconPapers: Modeling Job Rotation in Manufacturing Systems: The Study of Employee's Boredom and Skill Variations
- Wise Bread: How to Survive (and Thrive!) in a Job You Hate
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.