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It’s OK to be bored at work, says career coach and ex-Googler



bored boring
Reframe your work experience.

  • It’s OK to be bored at
    work — in fact, sometimes it’s advisable.
  • That’s according to Lindsay Gordon, a career coach and
    a former Google employee.
  • Gordon said if the job fulfills your top values, like
    financial security, then it might be worth keeping.
  • Plus, a boring job can afford you time and energy to
    spend on hobbies and family life.

Lindsay Gordon remembers one of her early career-coaching
clients: a high-powered lawyer who was making a lot of money.

The only problem? “She was pretty bored at work,” Gordon said.
“She was feeling underutilized and not challenged and all of her
friends were constantly telling her, ‘You should not stay in this
boring job!'”

But instead of helping the woman launch a search for a more
fulfilling job, Gordon took a step back. She guided the woman in
some exercises to figure out her most important values.

As it turned out, financial stability was at the top, largely
since the woman had a young child. And financial stability was
exactly what the woman’s “boring” job provided.

Gordon runs career-coaching company A Life of Options; she
previously worked at Google, most recently as a career
development and team culture program manager. On her blog, she
has a post titled “It’s
OK to Have a Boring Job
” — an argument she describes as
“revolutionary” to many people.

In the blog post, Gordon writes that some clients react to this
message with “incredible relief that their job doesn’t have to be
everything to them.” Others realize that they do in fact want to
be excited about something they spend so much time on.

Read more:
I went to a career coach so you don’t have to — and it was a rude

The high-powered lawyer Gordon worked with was in the first

Once the woman heard that it was fine to have a boring job,
Gordon told me, “it really reframed her entire experience of her
job because being able to provide for her family and have
financial stability was the No. 1 important thing for her.”

A boring job can allow you to dedicate time and energy to other

For many people, Gordon added, a boring job has a lot of
advantages, like being able to dedicate time and energy to
experiences outside of work. Think hobbies, volunteering, or
simply spending time with family. One client worked eight-hour
days and spent the rest of his time writing a novel.

Gordon’s clients aren’t the only people seeking validation in
their choice of a boring job.

Over on Reddit,
Pete_Worst wrote
that he was looking specifically for an
“office job that is 9-5 and requires no additional thought once
you clock out.” Pete_Worst added, “I know that seems lazy and
unambitious, but I just can’t help wanting a ‘normal’ job. All of
my professional jobs have been drama-filled (working with
individuals with disabilities) and very emotionally exhausting.”

Some people responded urging Pete_Worst to find work that is
fulfilling; others were more sympathetic. As
profoundlybored put it
, “priorities vary from person to
person, so it’s entirely likely that one person’s ‘boring and
monotonous’ is another person’s ‘stable and predictable.'”

The key, Gordon said, is figuring out what works for you, at this
point in your life. In the blog post, Gordon writes that “just
because you choose a boring job at this stage of life doesn’t
mean that you won’t want to challenge yourself more in your job
in the future, or vice versa.”

Gordon told me, “If it’s a boring job, and your friends are
telling you that you need a change. but you know that it works
for you, [you should be] able to feel good and confident in that

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