27 September 2023

Three steps to avoid workplace ennui

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Working in a job that fails to utilise all your creative talents can be mind-numbing. May Busch* suggests things you can do to fill the void.

One of the worst things for a high achiever is being bored at work.

It can leave you feeling disengaged and like you don’t want to do the work anymore — neither of which are good for your career.

If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.

One of my readers asked this.

“How do I tell my boss I’m bored?

“I was hired full-time to work on employee relations issues, but I’m finding this job really could be a part-time position as it’s more project-based than task-based.

“I love what I do, but I feel like I’m wasting my time and burning out the creativity candle.

“Any advice would be appreciated.”

Here are three ways to create your own work and make your job more engaging.

Share your aspirations

Start by sitting down with your boss and sharing your aspirations.

You can also use this time to suggest ways you can add value through additional projects.

This strategy allows you to come up with your own ideas, instead of delegating upward.

When you delegate upward, you take your problem to your boss and make it their problem.

Not only does this create more work for your boss, it can also result in less helpful ideas, as your boss may not know exactly what you’re looking for.

Since you’re closest to the problem, it’s easier for you to suggest things that will make you happy and add value to your team.

Expand your horizons

If your boss doesn’t like the ideas you suggest or doesn’t have the authority to approve them, you can expand your horizons.

Look for other teams with gaps and see how you can use your strengths to fill them.

Make it your goal to find other people within your organisation who need the kind of help only you can offer.

This way you can create your own work and expand your sphere of influence without leaving your organisation.

Start a side gig

You can also start a side gig outside of your organisation.

First, make sure this is consistent with your contract both in the letter of the law and spirit of the agreement.

Assuming it is, a side gig can act as a creative outlet for all of your ideas and be a great way to earn extra income.

Most people would be envious you can do your job in less time, leaving you with extra time to take on a side gig, so take advantage of it.

Start working on a freelance basis, create a consistent business or do something in between.

Regardless of what you choose, starting a side gig can help you release your creative passion and ultimately energise you in the work you’re doing for your organisation — it’s a win-win.

*May Busch works with smart entrepreneurs and top managements to build their businesses. She can be contacted at [email protected].

This article first appeared at maybusch.com.

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