Boredom is not only boring, it can lead to other undesirables such as fatigue, overeating, even chronic pain.

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Summer’s about over. Sigh.

Maybe you had a great vacation. (Hope so.) And maybe now you are back on the job. (Hope so.) But are you bored silly?

If you are, you’re not alone. According to “State of the American Workplace,” an ongoing Gallup study, 70 percent of American workers are “emotionally disconnected” at work. Nearly 20 percent are “actively disengaged.”
It’s bad news for your employer. Even more important, it’s bad news for you. Because boredom is not only boring, it can lead to other undesirables such as fatigue, overeating, even chronic pain. Not to mention, of course, that other really undesirable thing: job loss.

Fret not. There is an easy and foolproof cure for job boredom: Learn something new.

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Think about it. Learning is exciting, and when you’re learning, life is exciting. Learning makes the day fly by. It builds self-esteem, makes you happier and even boosts your energy level. Learning keeps your brain agile and young — helpful not just at work. The best thing about learning is that it’s inexhaustible: You can never run out of things to learn.

Needless to say, learning makes you a more valuable employee, and thus leads to better job security.

Convinced that learning is the cure to your job woes? Wondering how to actually proceed? Great. Without further ado, here are eight tips for learning (and succeeding) on the job:

  1. Let it be known that you’re up for all offered training courses.
  2. Find a mentor at work (someone who knows more than you do and is willing to teach you.)
  3. Read relevant trade magazines and newspapers.
  4. Ask a co-worker to teach you his/her job.
  5. Teach a co-worker your job.
  6. Offer to educate other departments about what your department does.
  7. Experiment with different ways to do your job — faster, better, more efficient ways (your boss will love this).
  8. Volunteer for projects that involve learning new skills.

Some of these tips might require your boss’s approval. Some you can go ahead and do all on your own — which means there is no excuse not to get started right now.

Wipe out job boredom today!

Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at wg@karenburnsworkinggirl.com.