If you've done the same tasks at the same job for a long time, you've probably experienced job burnout. If you're lucky, it occurs infrequently and can be alleviated by a favorite hobby or pastime. However, for many people, career boredom strikes more frequently and lasts longer. What's going on here?
Psychologists tell us that the human brain needs constant and ever-changing stimulation. Now don't get me wrong, the human brain learns by repetition. But the brain becomes bored once it has mastered a task or concept, and it wants to move on.
The key to overcoming career boredom is related to, at least partially, how you use your career expertise. This will give your brain an opportunity to tackle something new and different, and it will repay you by generating extra chemical enzymes that will make you feel great.
Here are 10 activities to stimulate your brain using your existing career knowledge and skills in ways different from your typical daily work. Consider undertaking any of these options on a part-time basis first, as a career-enhancement project. Then, if your selections inspire you, consider taking them on full-time.
- Write a Book: Turn your career knowledge into a novel, technical training manual or classroom textbook.
- Give Lectures: Offer to speak about your career, and related challenges and solutions at various professional gatherings.
- Consult: Make yourself available as a consultant to small firms unable to afford in-house experts.
- Volunteer Your Time: Consider volunteering time to local schools and colleges to help students better understand your career field and how to develop the skills necessary for their future success.
- Teach: Contact local schools, colleges, technical institutes and independent training services and offer to teach courses related to your career expertise.
- Become a Career Coach: Offer to mentor younger professionals in your career field to guide them into a more successful career track.
- Start an Association: Following your state's laws, create a professional association dedicated to sharing knowledge and expertise with colleagues.
- Publish a Newsletter or Journal: Survey a group of colleagues to determine what issues are hot in your career field. Develop solutions and publish your findings in a newsletter or journal made available to your colleagues.
- Start Your Own Business: Find a segment of the population not currently served by companies in your field, and create your own company, even if only a one-person operation, to provide the services or products they need.
- Become a Product or Service Demonstrator: Determine which companies in your career field are producing the most exciting products for tomorrow's market. Contact them and offer to demonstrate their products -- for a fee -- at local, state, regional and national gatherings.