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How do you keep up your enthusiasm when the job just gets too familiar?

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in Admin Pro Forum

Question: "I tend to move on from a job every two or three years because I get bored with seeing the same building, the same people, making the same commute day in and day out ... I tend to do well and my bosses always come up with new challenges for me, but it's hard for me not to daydream about what else might be out there that's simply different. I worry that as I get older, this attitude might begin to really cost me a good career. If I feel at my core that my working life should be a constant journey of discovery, how do I keep from wanting to be anywhere but where I am?" - Millie, Event Coordinator

See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura March 7, 2014 at 11:34 am

Sometimes reaching across department lines when others are on overload can provide 1) needed challenge to refresh & re-engage, 2) professional growth, and 3) the opportunity for your manager or other managers to see additional potential in you. These can result in requests to participate or partner with other parts of your company or offers for new roles. I moved to a new employer last fall but followed the above with my last employer – it took me 21 years to decide I had done everything that there was that fit my skill set and areas of interest. In the meantime, I was blessed with many opportunities, many wonderful relationships, and was viewed as a valuable employee because I could and was willing to help and support many departments/managers.

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Annette March 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm

At the risk of sounding like a heathen, Millie have you ever considered a career in government? Something larger like County, State, or Federal might do wonders for you in terms of opportunities. You can move from one department or division to another with relative ease and explore all new fields, operations, and functions while keeping your seniority and benefits intact. Better still, the reputation you work hard to achieve can facilitate these moves and even promotions. I’ve been in government several times and served legal, judicial, compliance, medical, human resources, and executive operations. My non-government work has been richly rewarding, but there’s a lot to be said for working somewhere stable with opportunities and room to grow. Good luck to you!

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Jackie February 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

That is so interesting Donna, because I again, am like Millie in my career, however, what you have desribed as a nester in your private life is also me. I would not say that I have a “restless” personality, I just appreciate challenges and like learning new things all of the time on the job front.

But home life, I do need that comfort and security like you!

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Donna February 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Jackie,
I get plenty of challenges in my career as an Office Manager. That’s why I love the job. I do a/p, a/r, gl, payroll, hr & office admin. With that kind of variety it’s never a dull moment. If it is, just wait 5 minutes. LOL So I probably have the best of both worlds. Just need to find what “fits” you best.

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Jackie February 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

Hi Millie,

When I read your question, I honestly knew that it could have come from me. I feel the same way, and much like you, feel like I need new challenges and change jobs quite often.

I do agree with the others as to finding a larger company that you can change positions throughout. I have done this at my current job at a hospital. This is the longest I have worked for a company even though I have had 3 jobs in a 5 year period. (Just transferred to the third).

Yes, people are concerned that you may leave the department you transfer into sooner than they would like, but if you are patient there is always someone who will give you a chance. You definitely want to build your reputation in this situation because when they hear what you did for your previous job, they are going to want you in their department no matter how long you stay.

This has proven to be very good for me because I have not had to change 401′s, lost vacation time, and all of the other things that happen when you are a job hopper!

I hope you find something that makes you happy. Happiness is what drives us and if we don’t have it in our personal life, it is very difficult to thrive on it in a business life.

Good luck!
Jackie

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Donna February 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

I don’t think the problem is the jobs, it’s just the way you were created. You are the type of person that founded America, the ones who explored & discovered what’s over the next hill. Unfortunately, in your work career that’s not necessarily good, especially if you are job hopping every couple years.

You need to find another area of your life to explore in, maybe in your social life? Get out & join some groups where there is variety, go exploring on weekends-maybe to other towns around you, or even move & change apartments every few years if you need a change. If you try to stifle that that part of who you are you will be even more restless. Since you already know that’s how you were created you can work to satisfy the restlessness in other ways. If you get it from another part of your life maybe you can enjoy your job longer. Knowing that about yourself, maybe there’s a way to mix it up a little at work with other duties or something.

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SK February 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

Donna, you are very wise. I was thinking the same thing.Thanks for bringing that thought.

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Donna February 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Thanks SK. Don’t know that I am particularly “wise”, but as I age I have gotten more introspective, figuring out who I am & why. I am actually a “nester”, prefer to stay close to home building my nest, need comfort & security. Consequently I tend to stay in jobs for many years. I also satisfy my personality needs by usually working 2 or 3 jobs at a time, and at home gardening, canning & heating with wood. All to add to “comfort & security” that I need.
People with “restless” personalities, need to find multiple ways to satisfy their personality needs as well.

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Min February 28, 2014 at 9:30 am

I, too, was surprised that a position as an Event Coordinator would become boring, as I would think all of the jobs would be slightly different each time. Maybe instead of working for someone else, you need to start your own Event Planning business and be your own boss. There would be plenty of challenges to keep you from getting bored in the day in/day out details. Just a thought for the next time you’re daydreaming about other possibilities out there.

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Robyn February 28, 2014 at 8:45 am

I’ve been in my current position with a social services agency for 6 years now. There are days when I think if I have to go there one more day I’m going to lose it; but then there are the other days when its the opposite.
I agree with the other comments if you really want to move make it a move that will count-larger employer with advancement possibilities, etc.
And keep in mind that length of tenure at positions speaks volumes about your stability, loyalty and ability to do the job. Changing jobs every few years, while giving you a wide range of variety; doesn’t always translate to those factors.

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Pam February 28, 2014 at 8:32 am

I agree that you need to find a large company. I work for a large company, and although a lot of my work is the same, every week I have new tasks to complete. I’m also very busy and never board. I have gone from supporting one exec. to three. Also, it doesn’t look good to jump jobs too often as employers do look at your work history. I was at my last job for 12 years and my current job for 11. I love my job.

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SK February 27, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Wow, Millie, I never thought the job of an event coordinator would be anything but exciting, with changes all the time. If allowed, you could really mix it up with food, entertainment, venue, speakers, presentations. The list sounds like it could be endless. Maybe you just need to think out of the box for a minute. What can you do differently with this next meeting or that activitiy next month? I agree with Maggie that working for a large corporation could give you more of what you’re looking for. Always check with HR to see what job openings are popping up that you’re qualified for and might want to try, but not have to lose benefits by leaving the company.
I like being an admin because I can change up what I’m doing throughout the course of the day. If I get tired of one job, just move on to another and come back to this one–like looking at an email from Admin Pro Today and responding with my two cents :)

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Tammi February 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Maybe you just have not found the right company/position yet! I have been at my job for 30 years and have never thought about leaving until I retire. I have moved from one position/department to another which changes the people that you work with and creates challenges to learn the job functions of the new position. You might want to think about things like pension, 401k etc. Jumping around from job to job makes it hard to build a pension to live off of when it comes time to retire. Companies do look at the length of time you were employed with prior companies and as the years go on, it might be more difficult to find a new job. Just a little food for thought.

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Theresa Kasel February 27, 2014 at 4:50 pm

It sounds like you might be working for smaller employers and when you’ve maxed out your learning curve, despite asking for new work, you are still bored.

Perhaps you could consider a large employer for your next job. They usually try to find people from within the company to fill positions. That way, when you feel you’ve done all you can in one department — you can try to find something in a different department. You won’t be changing jobs — just getting new positions within the same company.

As to the commute — take different routes to work. If you drive, leave earlier to try a different route or take different routes home (usually getting home doesn’t have the deadline getting to work does.)

Make sure you have a social life outside of work. If the only people you interact with are your family and co-workers, you will probably be bored. I have a night every week or two that you go out and do something with people you don’t normally interact with. Join a bowling league, check out Meetup.com for groups that do activities you enjoy.

Your job doesn’t need to and shouldn’t fulfill all your life needs.

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Maggie February 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm

I completely understand the fear of being stagnant. My suggestion to you is to find a job in a large (and I mean LARGE) company, where you can move around, and not lose anything in the process (401K, Benefits, Vacation, etc).

The real issue at hand, is that you are fearful of missing out. Have you ever thought about what you may be missing out on if you leave? As you mentioned, your supervisors try to give you challenging work, (which is great, by the way) yet you still feel the need to leave. Ask your supervisor if there is a chance to move up in the company. If the answer is no, then I would suggest looking elsewhere (and this time, do the research on the company to see about advancement opportunities). If the answer is yes… stick it out You will be happily surprised at the outcome.

Hope this helps.

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