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Another day of doing a job you know way too well. How do you find useful projects or activities at work without reverting back to watching YouTube? Sometimes being a young professional means you can get very mind numbing tasks to do and changing jobs every time you get bored isn’t a feasible option. So how do you fight off the urge to slack off?
“Really, if you are bored at work the best thing you could do is discuss your work situation with your manager,” says professional coach Lisa Sansom, owner of LVS Consulting.
Robert Steinbach is a workflow and productivity coach based in Toronto and president of The Genius Corporation. He suggests doing the best job you can. “Get your work done faster and better than anyone else has ever done who has held that position. The quality of your work and the speed of completion will get noticed by your superiors.”
Both experts suggest asking yourself some tough questions such as: What would you like to be doing? What can you offer the company that maybe they are not leveraging right now? And what can you do to make your job more interesting for you? It’s up to you to take initiative and ask how you can make a bigger contribution to the organization.
“Ask your employer for more work to do. If you’re able to handle your workload and have extra time left over, that’s pretty impressive. It shows a lot about your character and your willingness to move ahead,” says Steinbach.
Look around you and create a proactive proposal to present to your manager for discussion suggests Sansom. It should be open and mutually beneficial.
“If you are bored, then your company isn’t getting your best work either, so it is in their interest to give you some more enriching and challenging assignments that would make use of your skills and talents.”
If your suggestions falls on deaf ears, and they are unable to offer any suggestions in return, and you really have hit a brick wall, then it’s time to start looking elsewhere. Life is too short to be bored at work. If you are a young professional, then you likely have a lot to offer and you need to find a better fit suggests Sanson. However, leaving your job should be your last resort.
“If you can stick with your job for a while, it shows a lot about your character. Future employers are usually more impressed by employees who want to stay for a long period,” says Steinbach. “Those who change jobs frequently have less appeal to prospective employers.”
If you do have to leave, be sure you’ve exhausted every last option.
“Future employers would like to see drive and initiative, and I would think it’s easier to explain that you left a job because it wasn’t challenging, rather than you got fired from a job because you were watching YouTube all day,” says Sansom. “If you want to deliver your best work and your manager wants to make use of your best work, then you are both on the same side of the table. Consider your manager a partner in helping you to achieve job satisfaction and growth.”