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You’re bored on the job. Bored, bored, bored. You’re out the door, ready to leave your career. But what if there were a less drastic way to deal with the boredom?

Before making a leap, ask yourself if you ever liked your job. If yes, then what were the circumstances? When did it start to get boring? Has it happened before, and can you see a pattern?

Patterns can give us clues to solutions. For instance, I’ve worked with several clients who get bored about six months into a job, after a steep learning curve levels off. These clients love learning for the sake of learning, and have to seek out new knowledge, sometimes on their own, to stay engaged.

Next, ask yourself if something big has happened in your life. Sometimes boredom is a proxy for a change in values. People who are about to be new parents or who are getting married may suddenly feel disengaged from their work. Some sessions with me, or talks with someone close to you, could give you clarity before you make a change.

Sometimes people allow themselves to stagnate. Have you joined a professional association? Have you kept up with technology and its applications to your field? Do you have a mentor, either in person or an author you admire? Professional development can save you from boredom, and it’s so much cheaper than another round of grad school.

One client worked through these questions and we settled on putting more emphasis on a side project that related to his career and took his skills in a new direction. While it didn’t immediately alleviate the boredom on the job, it bought him time to conduct a thoughtful job hunt, and it added something to his portfolio.

Still bored? Try thinking about a different specialty in your field.

Another client is now considering graduate school, but in a subspecialty. The training would make her more marketable (I help clients dig up the stats before they invest in training), and opens up job possibilities at organizations that excite her. Her current employer will pay most of the bill, so that makes the boredom more tolerable at work.

Finally, if you do want a career change, does your current organization have another department that appeals to you? Could you work on a lateral move within the company before jumping ship?

These are just a few examples of how smaller changes could make a big difference. It could save you time, and a lot of money.