Boredom is in large part due to inadequate mental stimulation.  Maybe you finished all of your tasks and projects, or maybe there’s just not enough work to keep you busy. Perhaps it’s just a slow period…



All jobs have the ability to become a bit musty after a while. When you first start a job, there’s much to learn and time sails right through till the end of the day. But when you are comfortable with your daily tasks, your brain is on rote mode.

When that happens, your first inclination may be to look for a new job but that may be jumping the gun. Having extra time is a valuable monetary resource for your career – if you use your time wisely.

Common sense tells you there are things you can do to beat boredom such as seeking out new responsibilities and challenges. But one thing you don’t want to do is to use your time in a way that adds no value and only turns your brain to mush.

Don’t turn to Facebook, Twitter, or to spending time chatting up your coworkers. Look for things you can do that are good for your career, good for your mental stimulation, and that may result in a higher salary.

1. Get Smarter with Webinars and Free Online Classes



Webinars are abundant and many of them are free. Look around for sites and resources in your industry and in your area of expertise. You can develop new skills and even gain competitive intel by listening to a competitor’s webinar for their perspective on your industry.

Hint: Keep track of all of the webinars you attend.  Use it to your benefit at performance review time.  Show your boss how you’ve taken charge of your career. Managers love to see employees go out of their way to learn something new by their own initiative.

 Take Online Classes:

Furthering your education is always a good idea. Sign up for a class or a series of classes that you can take as a way of developing your academic credentials. Some Master’s degree or PhD programs are available almost entirely online, and you can get started with just a handful of courses at a time.

Think about a MOOC.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are designed like college courses but are available to anyone – any location – and the best part is that it is at NO COST.

Unfortunately, there’s no college credit but some courses will provide a certification of completion. Course topics are numerous – Science, Math, Psychology, Art, Leadership, Literature, Computers, etc.

Check out these sites for more information:

Coursera has over 400 courses in more than 20 categories, created by 85 Universities from 16 countries. Their courses are available in 12 different languages.

EdX is another non-profit course site created by founding partners Harvard and MIT and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. EdX offers MOOCs and interactive online classes in subjects including law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence (AI).

MIT has their own open courseware site and most of the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT’s subjects are available on the Web, free of charge. They have more than 2,000 courses available.

Stanford offers many self-paced courses which may be easier for some.

European institutions also offer courses through Germany-based Iversity. Their courses are offered in both English and German.

UK’s Open University has recently begun offering free online courses as well.

For those looking to learn a language Duolingo offers some free language education courses.

And for some additional computer knowledge, CodeAcademy teaches programming and coding in online, free and interactive lessons.

2. Research hot new industry trends:


There’s always something new happening in your industry. If you spend time researching the hot topics, you might be able to institute new things at work.  At a minimum, you can strut your knowledge in conversations with your supervisors and bosses.

3. Write a blog post:

Get known in your industry. One of the easiest methods available to do this is to start writing a blog post about your field of expertise.  You can write if from your own perspective or in a way that makes it understandable to outsiders. Each time you publish great content, you’ll build your personal brand.

4. Cross-Train:

Talk a walk to another department. You might want to coordinate this with your boss because it could get tricky otherwise.  When you take on new skills, this benefits both you and the company, not to mention you’ll help the other department.

This also widens your perspective as you become acquainted with how another department fits into the grand scheme of the organization.

5. Get Inspired by TED Talks:

Ted Talks feature motivational speeches from some of the most brilliant minds around the globe and they cover every topic under the sun in an easy-to-understand and inspiring way.


If all else fails….

If none of that appeals to you, being bored is on you.

 If you do all (or some) of the above and you are still bored, you have to examine the root cause. If you are continually bored and not engaged, you’ll have to decide when it’s time to move on.

I’d recommend that you consider your boredom as an opportunity. If you put effort toward something industrious and beneficial, you’ll overcome your boredom, you’ll improve your value and position in your company, you’ll increase your knowledge, grow professionally, and maybe you’ll set yourself up for a raise when the time comes.

 Always be on the look-out for new ways to find purpose and meaning in your career.

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