New Survey Ranks Jobs Most Likely Considered “Boring”
A recent survey offers a picture of the jobs considered “most boring,” by the people who occupy them.
Employment data company, Emolument, surveyed 1,300 professionals to find out which sector currently considers itself the most bored. Counting down the top-ten most boring job types looks like this:
#10 IT: Despite the connectivity and hard-wired fun, 56% of IT professionals are bored at work.
#9 Marketing and Communications: Creating meaningful messages and marketing campaigns seems to turn off approximately 60% of those in the field.
#8 Sales: Despite the thrill of the chase, sales work bores about 61% of employees.
#7 Engineering: 64% of engineers consider themselves bored.
#6 Financial Services and Banking: 67% of financial sector employees reported boredom on the job.
#5 Accounting: Like bankers, 67% of accountants are bored at work.
#4 Finance Control: Running just ahead of the accountants and bankers, about 68% of financiers think the grass is greener elsewhere.
#3 Support Functions: Supporting others is not a thrill for 71% of those who work hard helping others.
#2 Project Management: A full 78% of those who manage project cycles find it boring work.
#1 Legal Jobs: On the top, or bottom of the heap, however you look at it, jobs in the law are rated boring by 81% of employees.
What’s wrong with being bored at work?
With jobs rebounding in the current US economy, boring work is a risk factor for retention and is more complex than it sounds. While this survey identifies job sectors considered boring by those doing the job, the survey does not tell us what it is about these areas that is uniformly unsatisfying—or put simply, “boring.” Here are some of problems with being bored at your job:
- Work occupies a lot of a human life. Being bored is a tough way to spend the time.
- If employees are bored—especially caregivers, drivers, or operators—they may miss or skip important safety protocols.
- Being bored with your work is not good for your health, attitude, or productivity.
- Boredom, like job dissatisfaction, can be catchy, which is bad for company morale.
Boredom exists in the eye of the beholder. While one worker may have a passion for legal wordplay, that same person may find laboratory work an utter snore. While it is possible an employee may be in a totally unsuitable career, chances are good the industry is right—but the job, or the workplace—is wrong. Understanding the concept of right job, right worker is important for anyone interested in improving the work experience, retaining key talent, or boosting retention figures.
If you find yourself consistently bored at work, here are several ways to address the problem:
- Change it up: Find out if there are other responsibilities you might undertake to add challenge, interest, and opportunities to enhance your skill set.
- Improve engagement: While you might not be able to change the work, you can address the work environment. If you are in HR, investigate what you can do to involve workers socially. Create joint tasks and ask for volunteers or work on individual skills training plans to boost interest and improve job satisfaction.
- Work on projects: Project-based work offers built-in interest. Despite the similarity of tasks, almost all projects are different and may involve meeting new clients or team members.
- Alter schedules: Sometimes a slight change in start, end, break, or lunch times can provide a different perspective. Remote work and flexible hours are also sometimes a helpful accommodation.
- Address the environment: Tidy desks all in a row might be adding to the visual impression of boredom and sameness. Switch around your own office space or find out if your company workspace could use a renovation.
If you make some changes to your routine but find you are still truly unsatisfied with your line of work, it is never too late to start thinking about your next step. And it’s always easier to find your next job while employed, so think about how you might design your next phase of life and go for it.