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Starters vs. Maintainers: Which one are you?

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in Your Office Coach

Q: "I work as an office manager in a pleasant, stress-free environment. The pay is good, the schedule is flexible, and the staff is productive. Everyone gets along well. My boss is located in another state and only contacts me when she needs information.

"So what’s the problem? For the past two years, I have been bored out of my mind. I have apparently made things work so well that there are no issues left to address. I’m beginning to feel that my skills are being wasted here. 

"I tried asking for additional responsibilities, but nothing ever happened. My friends say I have the perfect job, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. Any thoughts?"  Underutilized

A:  It may help to understand the difference between “Starters” and “Maintainers.”  These two personality types are attracted to entirely different work environments. Starters enjoy the challenge of tackling problems and initiating projects, while Maintainers prefer the satisfaction of keeping an operation running smoothly. 

Without the stimulation of change, Starters typically become restless and discontented. Once all major issues have been resolved, they are ready to move on. Does this sound familiar?

To make work more interesting, you might undertake a difficult project or request a transfer to a more challenging position. But if those options seem unrealistic, consider looking elsewhere. After two years of boredom, you have surely realized that this is not “the perfect job,” even if other people think so.

How well is your job meeting your needs?  Take our Quick Quiz to find out: Rate Your Job on the Happiness Scale.

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