Navigating the doldrums

Even in these times of lean teams and heavy workloads, there are workers who are bored silly at work.

Managers are often unaware of the situation. If asked, the boss often says, “Oh, we are so busy around here! It is insane.” 

It can be hard for the boss to admit that workers are less than engaged.

In some organizations too many tasks get pushed to the top of the food chain. Higher-ups are super busy while administrative staff twiddles their thumbs. These are organizational issues you may not be able to solve. But you can take control of your own situation.
What can you do if you are expected to react to waves of high volume in between times of inactivity at work?  No, I am not suggesting online Scrabble or attending to personal email!
Here are some ideas to build your career when the doldrums set in:

  • Ask the boss for a special project that can be “picked up” and “put down” throughout the day.
  • Sign up for “free” or low cost webinars that you can download and watch on your own time to increase your industry knowledge.
  • Download university lectures available through itunes or other online sources.  You can listen for free to coursework offered through Yale, Harvard, Stanford and most any other school of higher learning.
  • Job shadow colleagues to increase your knowledge across the organization.
  • Take the initiative to improve a process within your department.
  • Offer to write an article for the company newsletter.
  • Explore ways to increase responsibilities in your current position. If you make a good case, the boss may be happy to unload some of his work to you.

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