Should I stick with my dull job?

BORED: The heart of job satisfaction is in your attitude and expectations.
BORED: The heart of job satisfaction is in your attitude and expectations.
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“I HAVE been in my post for the past five years and although it is a reasonable job, I’m bored silly. I want more responsibility and a challenge but I do appreciate the security I have. Am I being daft thinking about changing or should I just stick with it and put up with it being boring?”

For many of us, the idea of having a job that is truly satisfying – the kind where work doesn’t feel like work anymore – is pure fantasy. Sure, professional athletes, ski patrollers, and golf pros may have found a way of doing what they love and getting paid for it. But is there actually anyone out there who dreams of sitting at a desk and processing paper, or watching products fly by them on conveyor-belts, or working to solve other people’s problems?

Career dreams are one thing; practical reality is often another. When they happily coincide, seize the opportunity and enjoy it. Luckily, when they do not, it’s good to know that it is possible to get job satisfaction from a practical choice of career.

Job satisfaction doesn’t have to mean pursuing the ultra-glamorous or making money from your hobby.

You can work at job satisfaction, and find it in the most unexpected places.

The heart of job satisfaction is in your attitude and expectations; it’s more about how you approach your job than the actual duties you perform.

Whether you work on the farm, a production line, in the corner office or on the garage forecourt, the secret is to understand the key ingredients of your unique recipe for job satisfaction.

There are three basic approaches to work: is it a job, a career, or a passion?

Depending on which type of work you are in right now, the things that give you satisfaction will vary.

If you work at a job, the compensation aspects of the position will probably hold more appeal than anything else, and have the greatest impact on whether you stay or go.

If you work at a career, you are looking for promotions and career development opportunities.

Your overall satisfaction is typically linked with your status, power, or position.

If you work at a passion, the work itself is the factor that determines your satisfaction, regardless of money, prestige, or control.

Once you have identified the blend of status, power, or intrinsic enjoyment that need to be present in your work for you to feel satisfied, you then need to work on some of theseven “ingredients” for a satisfying job. These ingredients are:

* Self-awareness

* Challenge

* Variety

* Positive attitude

* Knowing your options

* Balanced lifestyle

* A sense of purpose.

Paul Charlson

GP from Brough

IT is entirely understandable, boredom is malignant and soul destroying. I would decide on a game plan. What you need to consider is what you would prefer to do and then investigate what you need to do to make it happen. It might mean studying in the evening for an extra qualification or learning a new skill. Once you are ready why not start applying for jobs and then change jobs rather than giving up work without one? It is easier to find a job when you are in one. Your next job might be better paid, more challenging and secure but clearly it may not be all of these, there is rarely a perfect job.. The more skills and contacts you have the wider your options of employment will be. Do not put up with being bored, long term it will be a mistake. However you do need to know that insecurity of employment is also stressful and can be difficult to handle. You need to consider how much uncertainty you can handle.

Elaine Douglas

A chartered psychologist who specialises in family and child relationships

TRY to find out if there are any opportunities for you with your present company.You may need to do this discreetly as it may be better to keep things to yourself at the moment – you are just exploring options and it probably would be unwise at this point to advertise the fact. If there is nothing, then have you considered doing a course of study or further training? There is nothing wrong with looking at what else is out there. Do some research on the web or in the papers and think through carefully whether applying for another job would be a good move. There is the saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, but also “out of the frying pan into the fire”. In other words what is available may not always be better than the circumstances you are in. There is another option which is probably more radical. Is your current job something that you would want to continue with, or do you fancy a real change? If so then we are back to retraining. I think that if you start to look at how and in what way you could manage or change your situation,then you will begin to feel less dissatisfied because you will be taking control, rather than “putting up with it.”

Cary Cooper

Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University

I THINK if you feel you need a change, but are worried about taking the proverbial plunge, you need to do some careful planning first. I would suggest you, with the help of a close friend or partner, spend some time scoping out what possible jobs might give you the stimulation and challenge you need. Then explore whether these jobs match your skills, qualifications and competencies.

If they do, or if you can get the extra training you need to do it, then look at the employment prospects (i.e. job availability). You should still maintain your job while going through this process, but then begin to apply for these jobs and see how the interviews go. You can then determine whether what these jobs have on offer, really meets your needs.

Dr Carol Burniston

Consultant Clinical Child Psychologist

GETTING up every day and going to work can be a chore, but never more so than if you are bored when you get there. You don’t have to make rash decisions or lose your security overnight by leaving your current post, but I would argue that you owe it to yourself to look for something that gives you satisfaction and achievement. There are lots of alternatives you could explore, but the first one is probably to speak to your manager and ask if there are any chances of taking on extra responsibilities or accessing further training in order to progress. If you work for a large organisation, there may be opportunities for secondment, so that you can look at other posts and try out something else with less risk to your financial security.If your manager is unreceptive, then looking at other training opportunities in your own time may be a possibility. You probably have many transferable skills and you may have a hobby which has given you another interest or abilities which you could use elsewhere. Some people try volunteering in their spare time to see whether a particular career would give them the satisfaction they need. I hope you find the job you are looking for.


Work plays a significant role in our lives. When you are dissatisfied with your job, this tends to have an influence on your overall outlook on life. While you may not be in the career of your dreams right now, it is still your responsibility to make sure that what you are doing is satisfying to you. By knowing the key elements that go into job satisfaction, you can choose to take control and make the changes you need to feel really satisfied and motivated by what you do. Make one small change at work today that makes you feel good or different – build on that change.