• Tue, Oct 8 - 10:59 am ET

Why Your Boring Job May Actually Be Good For You (3 Ways To Make It Work)

Boring office with decent pay? That's the conundrum.
According to a recent study done by researchers Peter Ubel of Duke University and David Comerford of the University of Stirling, people don’t want to do extra work without being paid for it--even if it means sticking to a dull, lifeless job. Remember those good old college days when you told yourself you’d work for Vogue for a poverty-line paycheck? Turns out, people aren’t dreaming in the same way.

Folks were less likely to choose an interesting job with more duties and engagement if said job wouldn’t pay. This makes sense, since we want to be paid to be alert and attentive. If, for example, two jobs (a boring office role without stimulation and a fun, exciting, varied position) offered the same pay, it turns out more people would take the boring job, though in theory they’d like the more engaging job. This is called effort aversion, and well, it makes sense. Show me the money (for my effort)!

Do you have a super boring job? Until you find a more challenging–and more fulfilling job–with a higher wage, you might want to be take advantage of your snooze-inducing role. Here’s how:

3. Make time for yourself. Since your job isn’t the best–but doesn’t require excessive amounts of brain power or sacrifice–you’re able to build a life around your working hours. After work, you may not feel as dead as you would if you put in all your effort. Schedule time to read, write, or do the things that do require your energy.

2. Make it a priority to find something better. Since you know you do not like the role you’re in, use this as proverbial gasoline to get your job search into gear.

1. Build your skills. Since your current job is a little more mentally flexible (read: boring, repetitive, uninspiring) find ways to try and change it up. Ask a coworker if they need help. Learn a new skill. Ask your boss for a new project. If you can put the effort aversion aside for just a bit, you may learn something new.

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  • Eeva Shan

    Indeed, a boring job can give you enough time to build or develop a new skill.
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