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Home | Got a Minute | Bad bosses | No. 59 – I’m well paid but bored in my job. How can I shake things up?

No. 59 – I’m well paid but bored in my job. How can I shake things up?

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11 May 2022

I find myself quite bored with my profession, IT architecture, and am at a stalemate in terms of what to do about it. It pays very well and I don’t know if I have translatable skills to move sideways into another profession while maintaining my income level. I thought I should start by at least figuring out what types of roles I am suited for based on personality and other measures. Can you suggest where to go from here?

As an IT architect you have highly transferable skills. You obviously have a lot of technical knowledge specific to designing complex IT systems but I would encourage you to think about the non-technical skills you bring to your role as well.

IT architects need to have strong communication and relationship skills and be able to explain complex issues to stakeholders who don’t have the same technical understanding as you do. My guess is you also have strong negotiation, problem-solving and project management skills.

All of these are transferable to a range of other jobs.

Go and speak with a recruiter who understands both your industry and others. Tell them about your broad skill set and the aspiration you have to work in a role that uses your IT knowledge as a complementary area of expertise rather than the foundation of your role.

I suspect there are many employers who will jump at the chance to have someone like you on their team with a background in IT but who can apply complex thinking to problem solving more generally.

I work in a manufacturing business where we are required to work night shifts. The office staff get to choose whether they work from home but if you work in the factory you don’t get that choice. This feels really unfair and my supervisor agrees, but doesn’t think it will ever change. How do you think things can be made fairer now that the pandemic is almost over and work is getting back to normal?

Unequal access to workplace flexibility for front-line workers is likely to be an ongoing issue for years to come both in individual organisations and the wider community.

As you rightly point out, the thousands of articles being published about new hybrid working environments and the concept of “work from anywhere” does not apply to most workers in manufacturing, hospitals, schools, emergency services, agriculture and so much more.

Within any one company, that disconnect is going to be felt more acutely and runs the risk of the workplace culture suffering as resentment builds between those who can have flexibility and those who can’t. I think your supervisor could do more to assist by raising the issue with their boss and getting creative about finding a level of flexibility for the manufacturing team.

It may look very different to what your office-based colleagues get, but even having some flexibility around rostered days off or selecting shifts may be a welcome change. Ultimately, it is important that you and your workmates feel heard and respected and that seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle right now.

I think my boss has a problem with drugs. He comes into the office at different times each day. Sometimes he’s aggressive and other times he seems spaced out. I’ve heard rumours that he takes drugs at parties but I’ve never seen him do anything at work so I don’t really know. I don’t like working around him when he is not himself and I feel uncomfortable with how he acts and what he says. I don’t really know who to speak to or whether I can say anything since I don’t know for sure. What do you recommend?

If you are feeling uncomfortable around your boss, it doesn’t really matter whether it is due to drugs or some other reason. You don’t need to wait for evidence that he is taking drugs as you have every right to feel safe at work regardless of the reason.

Is there anyone else at work who shares your concerns? If so, I would recommend you go together to HR or someone senior you trust and ask for advice. If your boss is being aggressive, it’s important you speak up soon before he potentially hurts someone else, or himself.

Whether it is drugs or not, aggression and unsafe behaviour is unacceptable and needs to be addressed.

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