Sometimes boredom affects our work lives as we settle into the ok-ness of mediocrity in our day to day work life. We go through the motions of the 9-5 longing for the end of the day. Each day becomes longer and longer. Even if we are working in more than a job for ourselves -- a career or calling. It can lose its luster from the initial passion we had at the first day of our dream job. We become stuck in the same patterns and do not grow in knowledge about our career areas so this important part of our life becomes stagnant.
As time marches on changes occur for every one’s career. New ideas, new procedures, and new people come along into our daily work. We also change as well from being thankful for the dream job and eager to do our best at the beginning of our job. With lack of growth and allowing routine to take over how we view our work turns us into cynical, griping, and feeling stuck on a never ending hamster wheel. I want to touch on a couple ways to improve our work life through life long learning. To break out of boring ok-ness in our career and move us into growing and increasing in work satisfaction.
I recently came back from a the Texas Counseling Association conference in Austin, TX. This is one way to reignite your energy in your work. At conferences you can attend training sessions that can help is learning about new changes occurring in your career area. Some sessions help in brushing up in old skill areas and others focus on new creative ideas. Also conferences will have a guest Keynote speaker to energize the attendees and help them breathe new life into their work.
This was very true of our first day main speaker, Bill O’Hanlon, a famous psychotherapist in the Solution Focused school of thought. His talk to us was to help us refocus our passion in the field of Counseling. By stories and examples he helped to reignite my thinking on counseling as well as giving new ideas to try out. I had come into Austin to the conference worn down from a hectic work setting. His session started to perk me up as I was tracking through each of his four main points. This is an example of how Conference times can help you feel pumped up and refreshed to tackle your work setting with new ideas to improve and conquer workplace boredom.
Another aspect of the conference setting is meeting other people in the same career field. In the conference setting you can have coffee or lunch with different people in your career field . Through these interactions you can obtain new ideas of what others are doing. Or commiserate with others in knowing you all face the same struggles. Sometimes a venting session away from the work environment can be of help.
Outside of conferences another helpful way to keep the mind actively improving in your career area is webinars. These are workshops online where you can gain information on a wide variety of topics. Many online educational companies have webinars for Continuing Education Credits for certifications and personal growth. Just the other day I enjoyed a webinar sponsored by an organization I belong to – The National Career Development Association. It was a session on Career Counseling Tips by Dr. John Krumboltz of Stanford University. He is one of the great minds in Psychology. I have mentioned his book on Happenstance, Luck Is No Accident, in other articles on this blog site. The webinar brightened a difficult day and gave me some new ideas to share with my co-worker. So do not ignore webinars as part of your life long learning.
One other area to consider that I cannot pass up since I am a certified Bookhead, is keep up in reading about your career area. As I stated at the beginning, I mentioned career information is always changing. So it is important to keep up with journals and books that relate to your career field. This material can stimulate your mind and help in your work creativity. The increased knowledge as well improves your ability to be in a state of flow in the work you do. This then provides more confidence and allows you to enjoy your work more than just going through the motions on the job.
These are just a few ideas to help in improving your work life through lifelong learning. One other item about conferences-- usually they are held in the larger cities in the U.S. So this gives you an opportunity to do some sight seeing on the side. That is a reason I usually include my wife and daughter on conference trips so we can turn it into a mini family vacation.
Think over your career field. Search on the internet and look for associations or organizations you can join to enliven your career. Search for any magazines or new books at the library that relate to your career area as well. Answer the question How can I improve myself to be a lifelong learner?