Shirley's Articles / Personal Effectiveness

I Can’t Come In Today

(Are you really sick or just bored?)

The alarm goes off, and you reach over to slap it quiet. You lie in bed, looking at the ceiling, checking your body. Is that a bit of a sore throat? Does your tummy seem a bit out of sorts? Is there anything you can think of so you can call in sick to work today? If any of this sounds familiar, you definitely need to determine the cause.

Is there someone with whom you have a personality conflict? Are you overwhelmed with work? Are you just tired? Or is it possible you’ve become bored with your job? Boredom is one of the most common complaints of people who have been at their jobs for several years. You know all the procedures. You know what your day is going to be like — every day the same, day after day. When that happens, and it does more often than you might think, you do have a few options to lift yourself out of the boredom rut.

Your first option is the obvious. Find a new job. Whereas this is a great idea in theory, it can be very different in reality. Perhaps you’ve worked at your company for several years and have some seniority. Maybe your career is in a development phase and your job offers opportunities for growth. Whatever the reason, you might not be ready to jump into the job hunting pool with both feet.

So, what else can you do? One way to climb out of the rut is to find more challenging work. Talk to your supervisor. Do you enjoy learning new things? Perhaps you could cross-train with someone else in the department. Do you have an idea for improving processes or procedures? Ask if you can take some time to work on a presentation for management.

Another option you might take is to investigate what you would need to do in order to follow the career you really want. Would you need to go back to school? What classes would you need to take? Does it just involve finding an open position in your preferred discipline? Do a little Internet research, and find out what’s going on in your field. Sometimes just doing something will probably be enough to lift your spirits and renew your interest in your current position. It’s also a cue for the universe to start working on your behalf!

The biggest thing you can do to help yourself in this situation is to not give in to the urge to stay home. It may be even more boring there, and you won’t be earning any income. You may be sabotaging your own career, too, if you get a reputation for being unreliable. On top of all that, you’ll feel guilty. Why put yourself through all that? Sure enough you’ll find that once you get to work, it’s really not as bad as it seemed when you were lazing in your warm, comfortable bed at home.

Hop out of bed, look out the window at the wonderful new day, and take advantage of every opportunity you have to increase your interest in your job and in life!

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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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