Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All jobs are boring

While having a delightful dinner and drinks with a couple of clients last night, I shuddered to hear one of our party, an HR professional no less, say:
Well, all jobs are by their nature boring. Humans just aren't made to do the same thing day-in, day-out. Nobody is really satisfied by their job.
Which got me thinking; is this really the case? Can it really be true that no job can ever be truly fulfilling, no matter what it is? Does everyone, a child carer, a surgeon, an astronaut, eventually get bored of the view out of his or her window?

I notice that over the nine or so years I've been in the workforce, I generally haven't worked anywhere longer than about 2.5 years. This hasn't been a conscious decision, but I've noticed that there is a commonality in theme - I do seem to reach a point at any organisation where I become bored by routine, so off I pop to try something a bit different.

And I think that it's this routine and repetition that is the largest contributing factor to workplace boredom. If I took the same route into work every day, did the same tasks, and had the same lunchtime ritual, my creativity would seep away and my development would stagnate.

I saw the owner of a cafe sitting glumly at one of his tables this lunchtime. I thought there must have been a time when he dreamt of opening a cafe, serving beautiful food to pleasant customers. Perhaps he's been worn down by the inevitable grind of small tasks, as well as the challenge that goes with keeping a city cafe profitable.

But rather than continue down this melancholy fairy tale (I've made up everything in the story above), the point I'm coming to is that situations such as these can be avoided by good planning and a positive mindset. For example, when looking at tasks, it's much better to always be thinking about new and better ways of doing something - rather than just something you need to get done and out the way.

I'm a great believer in the cognitive model of emotional response (that you can control your thoughts to influence the way you act and feel).

I like increasing profitability, reducing complexity, organising people, creating systems, and selling solutions. Sometimes parts of these things make for a dull day, but it's the mindset you use when you approach them that determines how interesting or rewarding you find them.

So, sure, the work's the same, but if you're always looking to improve, why would you ever get bored?


  1. no to fucking jobs, yes to wellfare!

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  3. hi
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  4. you are a moron, all work is slavery!

  5. "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world." - Tyler Durden


Say what you like - honest - but don't be abusive hey, I'm not pretending to know it all.