“When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.” – Eric Hoffer.
Over time we all seem to lose interest in our work. The first month on the job is characterised by good work ethic, motivation and friend making. But as one month fades into two we slowly start to get bored. After a year or two we wonder why we ever took the job in the first place. In this post I want to look at a few ways you can get interested in your job again.
1. Look at the jobs other people are working
One thing I like to do from time to time is take a look at some of the other jobs in the world. When you look at the jobs that other people are working you can inevitably find some interesting aspects about your own work. For example, if you work a desk job you might realize that it is much more interesting than being outside in the heat digging up roads and paving streets. Or, if you work outside you might realize that being out in the sun all day talking to your work mates (while you dig up that street) is more interesting than sitting behind a desk.
2. Study the history of your profession or firm
Sometimes it is really interesting to discover the lineage of your profession or firm. If you feel like you are a part of something bigger you quite often become more interested in it. This is why people follow sporting teams. Take a few minutes each week to look into how you firm got started, who started it and so on. You might find you have a really interesting history at your workplace.
3. Find new and interesting challenges
Mrs. Daily Minder remarked on her way to work this morning that she always finds work interesting when she gets new challenges. Even though they might be difficult or sometimes frustrating it is better than sitting at your desk all day doing the same thing over and over. If you find work is getting a little boring then perhaps ask your manager for some new challenges. They will be extremely impressed that you have asked this and, even though it means perhaps more work, it might mean you have a lot more interesting things to do.
4. Remember why you started
Most of us have some sort of positive motivation for starting the job we are at now. Some of us might have taken it because we needed more money to support our family. Some of us might have taken it because we thought we could help a lot of people. Some of us might have thought that the subject matter was really fascinating. But, as always, this motivation drifts away as time goes on and before we know it we are bored again.
If you can re-connect with that initial motivation you might be able to make your job more interesting again. Finding a lasting motivation for work is extremely important for your long term satisfaction. Sometimes when I don’t feel like writing an article for The Daily Mind I always remind myself that thousands of people encounter this blog and something I write might help one of them. This motivation always gets me going.
5. Make new friends
Whenever I listen to my friends talking about their work they are always at their happiest when they are talking about things they have done with their workmates. Making friends at work is one of the best ways to get interested again as these people will help you get through the workday – everyday. We are at work for eight hours a day, five days a week. If my maths is correct this means that we see our workmates even more than we see our own family! Try and make friends with the people around you at work and your day might become more interesting.
6. Get a new job
If you want to get interested in your job again and you really cannot get it happening at your current work then maybe you need to get a new job. Sometimes our work just doesn’t turn out like we hoped. It might be a collegue that we cannot connect with, an unreasonable boss or something to do with the work itself. If that is the case then getting a new job might be the only solution. Start looking in the papers and if you apply and get a new job then quit your old one and promise not to make the same mistakes at your new place of work.
Take a look at this interview on Guy Kawasaki’s blog about escaping corporate America. It has some really good points on how to get out of your job, how to know when to leave, how to find a better job and so on. Some of the tips are really handy for people who think that their job might be a dead end waste of time.
7. Ask the hard question
Would you be better off at a new job or would the same problems all pop up there as well? Like the opening quote of this post alludes to – is it you or the job that you are not interested in? This is a hard question to ask.
Staying interested in one job for many years is not an easy thing. Don’t just expect it to happen by itself – start putting in the work that will help you stay stimulated and interested when you might otherwise be bored out of your mind. If anyone has any other tips I would love to hear them.