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  • Writer's pictureDrs Schuster & Oxley

The Damaging Effects of 'Boreout'




In research for our forthcoming book #ACareerCarol, we identified the implications of 'boreout' as one of the four major existential threats to a successful career.


'Boreout' is a phrase that has been coined to describe finding yourself trapped in a meaningless job, one where the tasks, the responsibilities seem meaningless. The article features the research of Lotta Harju, and Ruth Stock-Homburg into how chronic boredom at work impacts human beings. How it can result in everything from anxiety, insomnia, all the way to serious mental health challenges.


There are important themes here as we look at a 40-year career journey. It is highly likely that at some point, as David Graeber so pithily satirizes, we will find ourselves in a BS Job (Graeber's book is well worth a read).


Where many of these articles talk to the organization consequences and underline the importance for businesses to recognize and act to reduce 'Boreout,' we have been interested in what an individual might be able to do. If you know there is a risk of finding yourself faced with 'Boreout' what can you do to navigate it?


If you were advising someone, coaching them, attempting to warn them of the seductive, insidious trap of falling foul of a BS job, how would you do it? We believe being forewarned and forearmed is a good start. And, if we are all destined at some point to fall into this trap, there are strategies to navigate to a better place. Ultimately, we think equipping NextGen leaders with relevant, practical advice on how to overcome these obstacles is critical and very much in need.


Photo Credit: CC0 Public Domain

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