A reader writes:
I am absolutely done with my current job. I’ve been here for just over six years now and, honestly, I probably stayed here longer than I should have (I was starting to get bored around two years ago). However, my coworkers are lovely, my boss is super supportive, the benefits are amazing (I will have 35 days of PTO this year plus sick time on top of that!) and the health insurance is fantastic. I just hate my actual job.
I didn’t always hate it, but I’ve grown to realize I really don’t want to do this type of work anymore. I stayed for so long because I kept getting promotions and new projects. But now I’m SO bored. I don’t care about anything. I have ZERO motivation to do anything. I seriously spend most of my days online shopping, reading blogs, reading the news, etc. I do the bare minimum to get by without someone actually noticing I’m not working like 50% of the time. I’m not doing any work towards any of my goals this year because I can’t find the motivation! Every day I come in and say to myself, “I’ll start this project today.” And here I am … emailing you instead!
I’m mortified by how far behind I am in some of my project goals, and I’m terrified my boss is going to check in about them soon. Nearly 75% of my emails I open and just go “I don’t care” and go do something else.
I’m actively applying for jobs, but that could take months. I’m barely getting by each day and ignoring my entire email inbox until 4:30 and then frantically responding to everything before I leave for the day.
The thing is, I’m not like this! I’ve always been a really motivated worker. I got my work done. I used to be horrified when coworkers would say they spent most of their day watching YouTube videos. When I finished what I needed to do that day, I’d always move on to the next project or find something to keep me busy.
I’m just burnt out/stuck/bored out of my mind and I need a bit of help or inspiration getting myself through until I can find a new job. I’m also afraid these awful work habits will follow me! How do I keep my act together and find motivation to work? How do I make sure to start my next job off on the right foot? I don’t want to leave this current job completely ruining the good reputation I’ve built here for the past six years.
You can read my answer to this letter at New York Magazine today. Head over there to read it.
Read more: askamanager.org