Work can be boring, and it seems that most people would agree. According to a survey by GetVoip, 45.5% of respondents said that their work did not excite them. Of those who did find their jobs exciting, young people showed the most excitement (57.8% of 25- to 34-year-olds); those working in an urban area were also excited about their work (57.1%). Unfortunately, not all of us are young, and not everyone works in an urban environment (nor does falling into one of these categories guarantee excitement at work.)
Most jobs include some periods that are boring, but if you find your work dull and boring most of the time, you may need to take initiative to make the situation better. In some cases you will simply have to make small changes, but in some situations a big change might be necessary. Here are five ways you can make work more exciting.
1. Find a job you love
Not everyone can afford to take the job they love; doing so might mean a pay cut that just isn’t possible. However, if you hate your job, you are unlikely to find much joy or excitement in it. You may find that choosing a job you love, even with a pay cut, will make your work life much more exciting. People who love their jobs usually look forward to working, and that alone can make work more exciting. Determine if you qualify for a job that you would truly enjoy, and if you have to take a pay cut, look at your expenses and determine if you can afford to do so, or if there are any aspects of your current lifestyle that you could change in order to take the job.
Even if you can’t leave your current job, try to find joy in aspects of your work. If you can focus on the parts you do enjoy (for example, the projects or the customers) you may find excitement in at least those aspects of your job.
2. Challenge yourself
Challenges are exciting, and if your job itself isn’t bad, but you find yourself getting bored often, then challenging yourself might help you to enjoy going to work. Try to take on new projects that help you to learn new skills, or push your abilities; the thrill of a challenge can help make work much more exciting. Taking risks in general can increase your excitement about your job; start by sharing new ideas, applying for promotions, and trying to think outside of the box.
Other ways to stay challenged include rediscovering what you find meaningful at your job, spending more time doing what you enjoy, expecting more of yourself, volunteering for more work, learning something new, working with a different department, and asking your supervisor for more challenging work.
3. Achieve your goals
Few things are more exciting than achieving your goals. If you need more excitement at work, consider making specific work goals and then setting out to achieve them. According to Chron, start by choosing an area (or areas) for improvement, consider present performance, set an attainable goal for improvement, set a deadline, and track the progress. You can start with a small goal (for example, if you want to have your monthly report ready a week earlier than you did last month.) Then you can move on to bigger goals, like earning a promotion within a year. Next, determine what needs to change in order to meet your goals, and put your plan into action. Having set goals and deadlines will help push you to achieve your goals, and working toward and then achieving them can make work more exciting.
4. Make contacts
Networking is important in order to move up in a company, to learn about opportunities outside of a company, and to have trustworthy references in the future. Even if you are hoping to stay in your job long term, making an effort to meet new people and to network with them (as well as people you already know) is often important. If you build a network of people you can depend on and learn with, you can receive emotional support and help each other, and also learn about new developments in your field and new opportunities. You also might be able to provide the same information to others who can use your help.
Also, consider the fact that there is a certain thrill in meeting a new person or making a new contact (especially if the person may help you find a new job later on. Reaching out to others requires a certain level of vulnerability, but it also requires confidence and knowledge about your field. It’s exciting just to put yourself out there.
5. Look at the big picture
This may not be your job forever, and even if you are bored most of the time, you will want to do your best so that you can learn as much as possible, and move on to a more exciting job later. Consider how your current job is preparing you for a better one, or teaching you valuable skills, and focus on what you can gain from staying put until something better comes along.
A University of Virginia and Harvard University study found that doing something is better than doing nothing; researchers learned that participants disliked spending even short periods of time in a room doing nothing, and some even preferred to give themselves mild electric shocks than to sit alone with their thoughts. The participants preferred to listen to music or play on their phones than to sit and ponder or think, and found it hard to concentrate even when they had nothing specific to concentrate on.
Hopefully your work isn’t so boring that you would rather shock yourself than sit in your office, but try to focus on the fact that at least you are doing something. If you really need a break, go outside to get fresh hair, or try to join more activities outside of work so that you have things to look forward to.