Staying Sharp-Remaining Employable

How will you deal with the doldrums of your career? When work gets boring, automatic and you’re better playing Angry Birds at your desk than actually getting things done.

After reading some passages about staying employable and some things you can do to keep your productivity up, I think blogging about staying sharp might fit well on this lovely Sunday.

It should be no surprise to you that you may eventually face boredom at work. The boredom I speak of however is different from the monotonous task of feeding more paper into the printer. I’m talking the boredom that strikes the moment you’ve put your lunch in the community refrigerator for the day. The one that yells “THERE HAS GOT TO BE MORE THAN THIS!”…I suspect the midlife crisis might be spurred on by these cries of boredom.

When you get bored, or don’t feel challenged enough, you begin down a path of lower productivity. In the competitive environments we work in these days, that slip in productivity can be the difference between your paycheck and a pink slip.  The good news is that you can fix this quickly with a little bit of planning and maybe a cup of Joe…


If you are in the profession YOU chose and were once happy with (I am aware of the size of this assumption), then you must try and remember that you once found joy in challenging yourself with the new information and workflows. What bores you now is likely what interested you in the past. Your new task is to dig deep and pull up your desire of personal growth. I’m talking keeping yourself current and sharp.

Find something that still interests you about your job, maybe in the slightest even, and seek to find more information about that. Look for opportunities in workflow to work with that particular item. Feel free to speak with your manager and see if there are any opportunities for you to try something new or maybe lend a hand on a project you weren’t assigned to.

Many companies also offer what I call “After-School Activities” for the corporate worker. Things like, Male and Female specific organizations as well as other opportunities to help in the community while still carrying your company’s brand.

The point is to find something that interests you and seek it out just like you used to in your career. By doing this, the most immediate effect is going to be a change in your schedule. This change can breathe refreshing life into your career. You may now have to juggle your personal and a work schedule differently now…sometimes that alone is enough to make you notice the challenge in your work again. Your time management skills are tested yet again.

If you’ve been unable to find “outside-work” opportunities, have no fear! Again, speak with your manager and seek out more training options. He’ll be happy because he’ll have a higher skilled worker with higher productivity than before. You’ll be happy because you’re adding more portable skills to your bag’o’ career tricks and tips. It’s a win-win! This self-improvement can enable you to see dimensions of your normal day-to-day that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen. You may even begin to see that a real change of scenery is exactly what you need. Hell, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that you work 54% of your day! Why would you want that time to be spent with something boring and meaningless?

Staying sharp also has the benefit of knowing what might be coming your way. By staying current in your field, you may be able to seek out new, innovative ideas that can help you find a new love for your company simply by letting your creative juices flow.

Stay open and positive about your career and always seek to find new information. For new professionals, taking this stance can safeguard against ever hitting the work doldrums and can help set you up for success along every stop in your career. For seasoned professionals, this stance can breathe new life into an old job, open up brand new areas of interest and help you connect with the younger people coming into the organization.


2 thoughts on “Staying Sharp-Remaining Employable

  1. rifflere January 15, 2014 / 12:04 am

    I’m hardly at the point in my career where work has become so simple as to seem boring, but I still think this is relevant and sage advice. As my incipient career starts to unfold, I am filled with hope, enthusiasm, optimism. I treasure these moments while everything is new and store them up for the doldrums ahead. I think part of remedying boredom is being prepared in advance. What can I do at this point in my career that will help me hold onto and preserve what inspires me?


    • cappeldt January 15, 2014 / 8:35 am

      rifflere, thank you for the comment!

      I really agree with your point about safeguarding against boredom by staying prepared ahead of time!

      Since you seem fresh in your career track my advice would be to search for the things you currently do that you have the most interest in. When you narrow those down, have a look at which ones seem to have the most promise for the future and then seek to educate yourself as best you can in the emerging uses and changes you will project in that particular item.


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