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3 Ways to Spice Up a Boring Job

If you're young and low on the career ladder, your first few jobs out of college may not be immediately scintillating. Sure, you're building skills, learning how to get on in the corporate world and expanding your resume, but let's face it, on the day-to-day level making photocopies, routine paperwork or unboxing computers can be plain old boring. You're not a job hopper and aren't ready to move on yet, so how can you improve the gig you've got now?

Writing on blog Productivity 501, Mark Shead answers a bored reader's prayers for suggestions on how to make his routine IT support job more interesting, offering four suggestions that might be helpful to anyone who is less than challenged by their current gig:

  • Ask for more responsibility. When I was in college I took a summer job at a hospital where they needed someone to unbox computers and set them up. It was pretty simple stuff and I was in a position where computers weren't coming in all the time. So I'd listen and see what types of problems people were having and then say, "I might be able to fix that, do you mind if I try?" The executives were having a very difficult time connecting to the computer system from home because the modems would always lock up. I asked if I could use an old computer to come up with a better solution and ended up creating a system that solved the problem. This kept me doing interesting things and also let me learn about stuff that went well beyond what I was hired to do. The trick is to find something that is being ignored right now that can be done in your spare time.
  • Ask for more education. Check the employee manual. If they have a defined educational plan, you may be able to take some college course or other type of training while at work and while having the company pay for it. There are lots of different online training companies that offer programs that would fit well into his periods of downtime.
  • Self education. Even if the company isn't going to pay for it, you may be able to get additional training simply by spending his downtime learning about things related to your job. If you ever do leave the company this may help you get a better position in the future. You can buy a technical book or use web tutorials to teach yourself all kinds of things during your downtime.
Do you have any other tips on how to make a boring job more fun or educational than it first appeared to be?

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(Image courtesy of Flickr user Sugar Sweet Sunshine, CC 2.0)
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