“The last thing I want to talk about is work.” My friend Sean said. “It’s not that it’s stressful. It’s just boring.”
I’m not sure which is worse stressful work or boring work. I used to think stressful. But at least stress makes one feel alive and usually the stress comes with stories that make one interesting.
“I used to be interesting,” Susan said. It was an intriguing opening line to our career counseling session. Susan relayed the early part of her career. She worked in a media company in New York City. Certainly, some part of the dynamic quality of her career was location based. The Connecticut suburbs, while truly beautiful and a great setting to live, cannot really compete with the greatest city on Earth (as New Yorkers tend to say!) for an interesting place to work.
But it really was her work that Susan found fascinating and that sparked her creative drive. Not that she would talk about her work much more than she does now – in a hybrid customer service/business development role for a company in the Greater Farmington Valley – but that, in her view, she was so much more alive in her career that she was just a more interesting person to be around.
I was recently at a beach based cookout in Old Saybrook. I’m not a big fan of small talk so I was happy that one of my new acquaintances started discussing his hopes for starting a business. (He knew that I ran Career Counseling Connecticut but was kind enough to ask if it was “ok to get some free advice.”) He started the conversation by telling me what he currently did – some type of account services role with Verizon – and then stopped himself: “I can’t continue without boring myself so I really don’t want to bore you. Let me tell you what I really want to do…” Then he lit up. He was more than interesting.
If talking about your work makes you feel dull, it may be time for a career change.