Chapter 6Career Boredom

Sometimes the best part of my job is that my chair swivels.

—Unknown

Dan always fell asleep during meetings. I loved to watch the process unfold, which usually began around 2:30 in the afternoon. His eyes would begin to blink, then the blinking became extended blinking (at least one minute in between blinks) and within five minutes his head would start bobbing. The head bobbing was always my favorite, as he fought a losing battle to stay awake. Come to think of it, I don't think he ever won. When Dan hit full REM sleep, his head would rest on his shoulder or chest and we knew Dan was out for the count. No one ever woke him up—meetings always went better if he was silent and we didn't have to hear his comments. Dan was obviously bored.

But who am I to make fun of Dan? I have been bored at work and spaced off to happier places more times than I can count. This is normal behavior for most of us as our bodies experience different levels of energy throughout the day as we engage in tasks that range from exciting to completely mind numbing. But when we talk about Career Boredom, we are describing a much different animal.

Career boredom doesn't stem from never-ending, pointless meetings, to-do lists that will never get completed, or from fellow employees who have the personality of a British security guard. (I mean the silent guards at Buckingham Palace, not the yappy ones you see at the museums.) Your career boredom originates from a lack of personal purpose, ...

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