No one enjoys work every day. Somedays will always be better than others. But there are signs that chronic boredom or unhappiness is something you need to address before you start experiencing the consequences. The question you must answer is whether you aren’t being challenged – are you bored? – or are you unhappy with your circumstances? 

A person who is bored wants to be engaged and do something challenging. Just saying, “I’m bored!” doesn’t qualify as actually being bored. Sometimes you may say you’re bored, when in fact you’re perfectly happy doing nothing and don’t want to do anything more challenging than sitting on the couch bingewatching something on Netflix. Before boredom leads to unhappiness and even depression, let’s figure out what you’re feeling and what to do. 

Do You Have a Feeling or Is There a Source? 

Start by asking yourself if what you’re feeling is seeping into other areas of your life. For instance, are you bored at work, but love being home? If you’re truly unhappy your feelings will invade your home and personal life. On the other hand, if you don’t feel challenged in your current job, any irritability or anxiousness will disappear as you leave work and head home. 

Sometimes, you can pinpoint a reason you feel unhappy at work. You may be dealing with an unreasonable boss, difficult colleagues or are overworked and underpaid. If you’re bored, it’s likely you aren’t challenged. But if you’re unhappy there may be a source you can identify. The question becomes – can you change the reason for your unhappiness or seek greater challenge at work? If the answer is “no” to these questions, then it may be time to move on. 

Understand the Difference – Unhappy or Bored? 

Joni Holderman is the founder of Thrive! Resumes. She spoke with Fast Company and succinctly defined the difference between boredom at work and being unhappy. The first, you may be able to change with different responsibilities, the second may need a job change. She says: 

“If you have plenty of challenging work, but find yourself clenching your teeth at work, have a tense stomach or dread Mondays, you are unhappy. If you feel that there is a ton of work but it’s not sufficiently challenging, or there’s no room for growth in your current position, you’re bored.” 

How Are You Reacting? 

Unfortunately, when you’re bored, you are also more likely to get angry. You may get angry about the situation you’re in, doing something repetitive or not creative, or be angry because you feel as if you’re working below your potential. If you’re feeling disappointed or sad, you may be unhappy instead of bored. 

Once you understand what’s going on you can give yourself a break and turn your boredom into accountability. Talk with your supervisor about how you may be able to change your job responsibilities or take on a new project. Even if your supervisor isn’t willing to help make changes, you can make improvements at work.  

However, if your efforts don’t yield positive results, it may be time to move on. It’s important to recognize if the issue is from your job or from you – because while you can change your job, you’ll always take “you” to the next job. 

Are You Ready for a Change? 

At Stellar Staffing Solutions, our professional recruiters can help you identify work that challenges you and increases your level of satisfaction and accomplishment. Call us today for an appointment to evaluate your options. 


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