Bored at Work? Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Time

Identify the reason you’re bored

Lynn Luong, founder and CEO of career advancement company The 2.0 Collective, says the first step to getting out of the boredom rut is to identify the reason you’re feeling disengaged. Is it the job itself that’s unfulfilling, or are you not doing enough in your role?

Reasons you might be bored at work

  • The work is monotonous, repetitive, or uninteresting.
  • You’re overqualified for your job or you’re not being challenged by the work.
  • You’re not being given enough work to do.
  • Your skills aren’t being properly used.
  • The job isn’t what you thought it would be.
  • You’re not being recognized or rewarded for your work.
  • There’s no room to grow in your job or in the company.
  • You’re burnt out or you’re working long hours.

Talk to your boss

If you’re unchallenged, overqualified, or underutilized

If you find the reason for your boredom is related to feeling unchallenged, or overqualified, underutilized, or you’re not being given enough to fill the time, tactfully talk to your boss about the problem.

If the problem is lack of recognition

If you find the problem is lack of recognition, tell your boss you need more feedback on your work. Ask if you can schedule a recurring 1:1 meeting or other regular opportunity to hear constructive feedback. Be prepared, though, that if you’re asking for feedback, you should be prepared to hear the good and the bad.

If you have nowhere to grow

If the problem is that there’s no growth opportunities, express to your manager that you’d really like to make sure you’re growing in your career, and provide specific ways you believe you can do so.

If you’re feeling burnt out

If the problem is that you’re feeling burnt out, approach your boss about workload and tell them you’re feeling overwhelmed. Frame the request in terms of quality of work, and suggest a solution or two.

Use the time to work on your career

Both Luong and Fateycheva recommend mentorship, whether you’re the mentor or mentee, as a remedy to workplace boredom.

When it’s time to go

Consider that sometimes being bored in your work is a sign that it’s time to move on. Perhaps you’ve graduated out of the current level of work you’re doing, but there’s no opportunity for a promotion or other advancement at your job. Perhaps you’ve proposed new tasks, but your boss just isn’t biting. It may be time to look for a new job.

About our sources

Lynn Luong, founder and CEO of The 2.0 Collective, works to modernize career coaching and help professionals reach the next best version of themselves. Luong is an ecosystem builder in New York and Charlotte who leans into creative solutions to further local innovation.

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