The 5 Steps to Telling Your Boss You're Bored

Think twice before you quit. Instead, ask your manager for more challenging projects.

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If you’re spending more time playing Candy Crush Saga than taking on challenging projects at work, it’s time to step up your game. A recent article in the Huffington Post noted not being challenged as one of the top reasons people hate their jobs. If this sounds familiar, you’ve got two decisions: either look for greener pastures elsewhere or try to fix the situation.

While you could quit, think twice before you do. You have no way of knowing that you won’t end up in the same situation elsewhere, and you’ll raise a red flag if you have short stints of working at multiple companies all over your résumé.

On the other hand, talking to your boss about how you feel is a step in the right direction to being more fulfilled at work. She may not even be aware that you’re feeling bored. Here’s how to broach the conversation.

Step 1: Identify What You Really Want From Your Career

You need a strategy before you talk to your boss. For that, you’ll have to decide what you really want.

  • Do you simply want more responsibilities in your current position?
  • Or do you feel you’re ready for a promotion up the ladder?

Depending on your answer, you’ll need to craft your strategy accordingly.

Step 2: Come Up With a Solution

You don’t want your conversation with your boss to be a whine fest about how bored you are. Instead, you need to come up with a quick fix that will win your boss over and get you what you really want.

If you want more responsibilities in your current role to beef up your résumé, identify what tasks you’re most interested in. It’s always best to make your own recommendations about the additional work you’d like to take on, since you’ll be more likely to enjoy it that way.

If you are ready to advocate for a promotion, identify opportunities within your company that you think you’re a good fit for. Make sure you’re qualified before speaking to your boss about a position.

Step 3: Write Down What You Do on a Typical Day

Your boss may not really have a sense for what you do day to day, so write it down. This can help give her a better idea of where your talents are being wasted and provide her with insight on what she can do to better challenge you.

Include an estimate of how many hours a week you’re actually engaged in meaningful work. Your boss might be shocked to learn she’s paying you to sit at your desk 40 hours a week, when your responsibilities only take 25 hours.

Step 4: Schedule the Conversation

This isn’t a drive-by kind of chat to have with your boss by the copy machine. Schedule at least a half-hour to discuss it when she has time to focus on you and your proposal. Prepare beforehand what you’ll say to maximize the results of the meeting.

Step 5: Be Honest

Don’t be afraid to be open with your boss. She doesn’t want to lose a good worker like you, so she’ll be willing to help you be more fulfilled in your role.

Be open to where the conversation goes. She may have other ideas about how you can be better engaged at work, so consider her ideas. You can work together to find the best solution for both of you.