Depending on your personality, you probably fall into one of two categories of workers: those who thrive on habitual tasks or those who crave change and associate routine with stagnation. If you find yourself bored to death at work, you’re most likely in the latter category.
And if you are bored at work, what’s the reason? To find out, start by asking yourself a few questions:
1. Are your contributions at work undervalued?
2. Is your company utilizing your skills to their fullest potential?
3. Do you feel like your skills are misunderstood by your boss or coworkers?
The answers to these questions will help you understand why you’re bored at work and how you might be able to fix it.
Believe it or not, being bored at work can cause stress. Most people want to be productive and proud of the work they do. Feelings of boredom, being undervalued, or being unable to use your skills to their fullest potential can be demoralizing. The related stress can lead to health problems. So much of our identity and self-worth, for better or worse, is wrapped up in our work. This makes it important to take action when you’re feeling bored at your job.
Here are five ways to beat workplace boredom:
1. Start Looking for a New Job
With change comes excitement and anticipation. Venturing into the unknown can reinvigorate you and your relationship to your work. However, you don’t want to swap out one bad job for another. Make sure you understand why you want to leave and what it is that excites you about the new opportunity.
And remember: Telling an interviewer how bored you are at your current job will probably be a turnoff for them.
2. Try Looking at Your Job Differently
It’s not easy to do, but if you can reframe the job and what it means to you until your situation changes, you may be able to keep boredom at bay.
Does the job allow you the downtime you need to work on outside hobbies you enjoy? Maybe it’s time to start that blog you keep putting off or get your side hustle off the ground. If you can make use of the boredom and create a positive outcome as a result, you just might realize this job is exactly what you need at the moment.
3. Set Some Serious Goals for Yourself
We all get bored sometimes, but the tragedy is not going after the things that will ultimately make you happier in your professional life. Start setting goals to help you get your career on track. Consequently, you’ll find that just making the commitment will help you start to feel better about things.
4. Talk to Someone
It may sound crazy to tell your boss you’re bored, but if you’re doing good work and still considered a valuable team player, you have some leverage. Center the talk around the skills you want to utilize more in your work, your commitment to the company, and your desire to grow within the organization. Change might not be immediate, but you may be able to start putting an approved plan in place.
5. Educate Yourself
Part of knowing what you want is truly understand what it will means to you. For example, if you think you want to move into advertising, first talk to people in the industry. Get an inside view of what it’s really like. Often, our perceptions are more glamorous than reality. Do your research before making any big moves.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Atrium Staffing blog.
Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing‘s resident career expert.