How long does it take doing the same job in the same career before you start to get bored? When we were children, the timer was very short. Ten minutes doing the same kind of multiplication problem, and you’re already dreaming about recess. Half an hour studying for your History test and you’re nodding off at the desk. And in a decades-long career?
We usually choose our careers based on what we enjoyed most in school or something we’ve always dreamed of doing. Your few jobs were probably exciting. It was fun to learn all the new job skills, get acclimated to the professional environment, and learn what other kinds of people are in the career you chose. But eventually, it becomes routine. And at that point, we start thinking about changing jobs.
As an experienced staffing team, we know that sometimes it’s important to make a change to keep progressing your career. But often, the best starting place in a job search is to re-commit to your work and discover what you really want to change.
If you have been feeling a critical lack of motivation and engagement in your work, it may not be because the work has become less interesting. You have likely become less interested. You may be thinking it’s time for a major change in your life, but perhaps it’s just time to re-invigorate your perspective on working life. Have you let yourself get into a less-than-exciting routine? Maybe all you need is a little self-motivation to remember what you’ve always loved about your career, and where you want to go from here. And if you’re still dissatisfied after that, you’ll have a much better perspective on where you really want to go next.
1) Pretend It’s a New Job (and Change Things Up)
If you’ve found yourself idly browsing job boards for new positions that are nearly identical to your current position, chances are that it’s not really a change in careers that you’re craving. Just that ‘new job’ feeling that makes you want to try hard, impress your coworkers, and make a strong impression on the boss. You felt that once in this job, but eventually you got everything down-pat. You’re used to your routine, you know your coworkers. You say hello to the same people every morning, drink coffee from the same mug, sit down at the same time. You probably set your cup in the same place every day, eat the same lunch, check your email at the same times. Of course you’re bored!
Have you ever considered that all you need is a change and to recreate that ‘new job’ feeling for yourself? There’s no need to go through the hassle and uncertainty of a job search, interviews, quitting, and getting hired. Instead, try changing your routine instead. Do your hair like you want to make an impression, pack your lunch differently, rearrange your desk, and take breaks at different times. Most importantly, resolve to do whatever you do better than “the guy who was here before”. IE: You.
2) Rediscover Your Ambition
When we get bored with a job, this is a clear sign of one overwhelming fact: You have stopped trying to improve. Remember when you started this job and had dreams of promotions, management, and industry recognition? Or perhaps just being the coolest person on your team and eventually becoming a team lead. What do you dream about now? Most likely, 5pm and your regular dinner-time TV show.
Where did your ambition go? In the course of getting good at a job, getting to know your coworkers, and meshing with the company culture it is all too easy to get stuck in a rut. Building the perfect routine turns into simply living the routine you build. Really ask yourself what is standing between you and your next promotion or the next advancement in your career that really matters to you. Light the fires of ambition again and let them drive you first to rock the position you have, and then to seek whatever professional development or simple opportunity-claiming is required to reach the next level.
[Continued in Part 2 contact us]