My first real job was as a “Turn on Clerk.” I’m not kidding. This was a rather descriptive (and enormously funny) title for an administrative job that involved turning on the gas supply and creating accounts for people who were moving into new apartments. While a great job, it was never meant to be my life’s calling and I eventually moved on – thank goodness!
Everyone has “starter” jobs like this at some point. They’re great for learning new skills, building experience in a variety of fields, and providing an interesting change of pace as you mature professionally. Eventually, however, most people move into more long-lasting jobs or careers that change very little throughout the years. One example would be a tax accountant. Yes, accountants have to keep abreast of changes in taxation and changes to legislation, but from the moment they graduate until they retire, they are essentially providing the same services. The same goes for a wide variety of professions such as stonemasons, plumbers, electricians, lawyers, physicians and beyond.
If you’re in a temporary, transitional job where things are constantly changing, it’s easy to maintain a certain level of excitement and motivation as you work. Once you move on to a long-term position, however, it’s easy to get a case of the “blahs.”
Job boredom can quickly turn into fatigue and then total burnout. If you’ve found yourself sitting at your desk staring into space, feeling like you’ve got a bad case of brain fog and unable to motivate yourself to dig in and enjoy your work like you used to, maybe it’s time to add a few new routines to your day.
Start the day with a relaxing ritual: Get your blood flowing and engage with the new day by fitting in a quick workout, a few minutes of yoga, or your favourite coffee or tea while reading something enjoyable. A relaxing ritual like this allows you to start the day with great focus and positivity.
Unplug: Technology makes this hard today, but stepping away from the computer can be one of the best things you can do to alleviate monotony and add some spontaneity to your day. Take a walk around the block. Meet a colleague in the cafeteria or at a local coffee shop. Run to a local shop and buy some fresh flowers for your desk. Fresh air, quick exercise and stimulating conversations that aren’t about work are great for putting a little zing in your day.
Ask for a change: Boredom often stems from getting into a rut. If you feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over, ask your supervisor if you can be given some new responsibilities. See if you can move to a different office. At the least, clean and rearrange your desk and treat yourself to some new office toys you’ve been wanting.
Volunteer: Motivation can often be found in the simple act of helping others. See if you company supports any charities or non-profit organizations and ask if you can help out. Opportunities to help your community are endless. No matter if you are helping serve food in a soup kitchen or offering pro-bono expert advice to struggling small businesses, you’ll gain a new perspective on life as well as inspiration and motivation galore.
I’d love to know: What have you done to jazz things up a bit, make your day different, or ensure that every day until retirement is not the same to maintain your motivation? Please feel free to share in the comments below so we can all learn and grow together.