Associate director of the human resources and transactional services divisions at Robert Walters Hong Kong.
Beat boredom at work by being proactive, rather than job-hopping
I feel like I’ve been in cruise control in my job for some time now and I’m actually missing feeling challenged. I want to do more, but not just more of the same – maybe a new project or dealing with some new technology. The problem, though, is that the scope for such a thing this in my company (a mid-size IT solutions provider) is currently quite limited, so I’m wondering whether I should look for a new job instead. Or maybe I should wait to see who leaves around Chinese New Year after the bonuses have been paid? I’m not the sort of person looking to eventually become CEO, but it would be nice to build on my existing management skills. What would you suggest I do?
An ever-challenging job is almost impossible unless your organisation is sizeable, with numerous layers within the same division. Therefore, regardless of how stimulating and exciting your role once was, it is inevitable that you will feel demotivated when your job scope remains unchanged over time.
There are certain changes that you can make to improve your career satisfaction.
The simplest way, of course, is to explore external opportunities in the market. There are many people who leave their companies due to limited internal exposure or simply that they feel they have reached their career ceiling within that company, so your case is very alike.
The entire jobseeking process normally takes at least four to six weeks to complete. If your goal is to switch jobs after Chinese New Year, that means you need to start the process early.
Prepare a high-quality CV highlighting relevant skills and achievements, and consider contacting recruiters who are specialised in your area, so that you are informed whenever a potential prospect becomes available. You need to also evaluate your current skills, and determine which companies and positions can help you further develop these areas.
Alternatively, you can explore internal opportunities. Is your boss aware that you are looking for greater challenges? Sometimes, bosses do not allocate extra responsibilities to their staff to ensure that they feel content in their role.
It’s best to initiate a discussion with her or him and ask about other areas in which you can assist. Show initiative and offer help, as most bosses appreciate proactive staff.
By starting with these simple changes, you will likely feel more challenged at work by the new tasks that you take on, and be in a position to improve your skill sets and career prospects.
Exploring both internal and external opportunities concurrently is a good strategy, as this way you can make comparisons and evaluate what’s best for your career in the long term.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Beat boredom at work by being proactive.