Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 28 September 2022

Bored of your job? Don't jump ship before figuring out why

When people get fed up of the same thing over and over again, a knee-jerk reaction is to look elsewhere. But that could be a mistake.

Karen Frampton

IF YOU’VE EVER made a mad dash to TK MAXX to buy that last-minute purchase as a result of a last-minute invitation to a night out, then you’ll know what I mean when I talk about the “full wardrobe but nothing to wear” syndrome.

Yes, the one where you open the press or drawers and see nothing staring back at you. Except it’s not nothing. It’s a veritable haul of costumes and clothes, some still with tags on that you just don’t want to have to wear again. So instead we tell ourselves that we need something new, something more current, and we trundle off to spend more
money on an impulse-led purchase.

When people get tired of their jobs, and bored of doing the same thing over and over the first knee-jerk reaction is to either engage in a spot of window shopping, ie job boards, or actually go all out and apply for a position that they have no idea if they really want – or maybe they are hoping to get that rush of adrenalin, akin to the clothes purchase, at being called for an interview.

A lot of us pretend everything is perfect

Becoming jaded in your job or career is OK, and it is a frequent occurrence for practically every single one of us. But we don’t often communicate that to one another. Instead we keep up the pretence, maintain the cool exterior and tart up our masks to keep people off the scent.

So,  just how can you work through the bored phase at work and make a more balanced call as to whether it is really the job or an external factor?

1. Step back from the desk.

If you’re tired then you need a break. Take a day off, get some head space and think about anything but work. Research has consistently shown that people who switch off and recharge are more focused and make better decisions.

2. Dig deep.

Just as somebody does when they engage in a career coaching session, you need to clear the path through to the real reasons behind why you are so unhappy or tired. I do not believe that the blame lies solely at the feet of your employer. Ask yourself the tough questions and if you can’t ask yourself, find somebody who will.

3. By all means, engage in window-shopping.

It has its merits. Like your wardrobe, you do need to update it every now and again, but you don’t necessarily buy a new wardrobe every time you need a new outfit. Read more. Further your hobbies. Get out and about.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

Revisit where you were happiest most in your job/career and find that happy feeling you once had and see how you can replicate it. Maybe you can in your current job and maybe you can’t, but if you don’t ask yourself these questions how will you ever know?

Leaving a job without giving yourself the chance to really drill down into why is crazy. It is rarely about the money, seldom about your job duties. It often has more to do with where you are at as a person.

So, before you rush off to the furniture store, take a detour to the clothes store. A new perspective, a fresh pair of eyes to give you advice on what suits you best for this new phase might be all you need. But while buying clothes can be a chore for the best of us, taking the steps to find out where we can be happiest in our jobs doesn’t need to be. It all starts with knowing what suits you best for the stage you’re at in your life.

Karen Frampton is a Career Coach based in Waterford and writes a regular Career Blog via

About the author:

Karen Frampton

Read next: