A Foolproof Way to Cure Job Boredom

Back after Labor Day and fighting the doldrums? Learn something new!

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Outside Voices - ''Working Girl'' aka Karen Burns
Summer's over. (Sigh.)

Are you back at work? And are you bored silly?

If so, you're not alone. According to a Gallup Poll cited in the Washington Post, 55 percent of all U.S. employees are not "engaged" at work.

Boredom can lead to fatigue, overeating, chronic pain, and, often, job loss. But fear not! There's a foolproof cure:

Learn something new.

When you're learning, life is exciting. The day flies by. Learning makes you smarter. It makes you happier. It gives you energy. The best thing about learning is that it's inexhaustible—you can never run out of new things to learn.

Even more important: Learning makes you a more valuable employee. Ergo, learning equals job security.

With no 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 share).

3. Read trade magazines and newspapers.

4. Learn a coworker's job.

5. Teach a coworker your job.

6. Offer to teach other departments about what your department does.

7. Experiment with different ways to do what you do.

8. Volunteer for projects that involve learning new skills.

Some of these require a boss's approval. Some you can do on your own. Which means there is no excuse not to start right now...

Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009. She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com.