Bore-Out: A Societal Phenomenon that Requires Self-Initiative

by godbersen

Bore-out is a very common problem which can cause severe consequences. This page helps you to understand, recognize and prevent the bore-out phenomenon.

Burnout is very popular in our performance-oriented society. It is nearly regarded as being a shame in not having symptoms of exhaustion or stress. In comparison, bore-out is neglected. Either bore-out is just not recognized as such or affected people are seen as lazybones or losers. Of course, this is not only unfair but is also incorrect. What exactly is bore-out and what can you do against it?

Bore-Out is a Mismatch of Resources, Achievement Motivation and Challenges

Bore-Out and BurnoutBore-out can affect all areas of life but it is most common at work. The threat of a bore-out occurs if the resources, the expectations and the achievement motivation are significantly higher than the challenges over a longer period of time.

A Typical Development of Bore-Out

What follows is a typical work situation which leads to bore-out. Through a job advertisement a company seeks a proactive high potential to manage and develop an international department.

After a highly motivated young manager starts this job he must realize that his responsibility is rather administrating than deciding and designing the future of his department. His boss makes the actual decisions and the international tasks are restricted to sporadic email. Usually, the manager will appreciate this situation in the first weeks because he is not over-challenged and is able to handle all tasks.

However, over time the expectations of the manager will be disappointed and he cannot follow his high achievement motivation which leads to labor unrest. And finally, the manager checks out mentally. It would not be unusually if the constant experience of bore-out leads to stress and psychological disorders like depressions the so-called bore-out paradox.

The Solution is Getting Active

The example described before clarifies that people who suffer from a bore-out are actually not lazybones or losers. The affected persons show a high achievement motivation and a strong profile of skills. Both attributes normally are highly regarded. Furthermore, it is no secret that monotone and under-challenging jobs are quite common in our society which is based on the division of labor. Therefore, the first step to cope with bore-out is to recognize this phenomenon and free it from taboos so that one can analyze his or her situation.

Based on an analysis of the individual situation the only way out off a bore-out is initiative and activity. Affected people can change their working situation through using their own scope for action. However, this approach can be limited. Therefore, discussing opportunities with the direct superior can make sense. And if nothing works the last step is giving in one’s notice to quit and looking for a new job.

Beside the described causal approach affected people can benefit from reconsidering the entire situation of life. Even though work is really important there is more to life. The time with family or friends, hobbies or voluntary activities can compensate the discontentment from work. This implies a functioning time management so that there is enough time for the “good” areas of life.

You Need to Design Your Life

Bore-out is a phenomenon the concerns the entire society. However, to actively design one’s situation of life is the individual’s own responsibility. Everyone can be the architect of his or her own fortune and design his or her life. However, because bore-out can lead to severe psychological problems and disorders it is advised to visit a psychiatrist or psychotherapist if you are in a late stage of the bore-out process.

Updated: 09/03/2012, godbersen
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