There are times at work where I find myself sitting there not doing anything and it gets me down when it happens.
I work for a large organisation. I work in the comms team, made up of about 15 people, some have left due to a re-shuffle. My job specifically is working with a press officer (let's call him Chuck!) who is visually impaired and needs someone to work with him. I'm the third assistant he's had, previous were both men.
My previous job was a social media, marketing esque job that I enjoyed but had to leave (I'll probably go into that another time) but I enjoyed the nature of the job. I liked the creative aspect of it.
I get to do some things that are somewhat creative. In particular we'll go take some photos or film people for a story and I enjoy the video side of it. I actually enjoy video editing, as time consuming as it can be! I also do some social media which can be fun, but also tedious.
But aside from that? It's... Fine, I guess. I prep a press release here and there, find a phone number, upload an already written blog post, spellcheck stuff. Not fulfilling for me.
There are some days (like today) where I have barely anything to do. If I do do something it's something that takes a minute. It makes me feel useless and not needed. On top of that it's boring and I feel unprofessional. I find myself scrolling through social media or doodling most of the time. It makes me uncomfortable.
This did lead me to have what I guess you would call a breakdown a few months ago. I'd been on hormonal medication that was making me feel off for a while but things just quickly escalated and I blew up. So they know it's an issue for me, but not much has been done about it. They also know I'm Autistic.
When I enjoy my job, I really do enjoy it. I like working with Chuck, I like (most) of my colleagues, I get to wear what I want (very important to me!) and so on.
I'm just wondering what I can do? It really does get me down when it happens. I wish the way I work could be different. There's no structure, I never know what I'm gonna do that day, which is not great for an Autistic person.
(Sorry I know this was long!!)
Depending on how well you get on with your line manager, it might be helpful discussing how you feel with them. It's part of a line manager's role to get the most from you, and saying that you'd like to do more is a benefit for your organisation, so a good line manager would be receptive to this. Where I've worked I've asked if there's anything else I can help with a few times, and usually line managers have been quick to find me something.
The other thing that sometimes works is if you have an idea for something you could do that would benefit the work that the Comms team does. That way its a win-win for you and your team. Though maybe depends on whether new ideas are encouraged or not where you work. I've worked in teams where I've been allowed to less busy periods to pursue little projects that I've come up (I have a statistics/data science job so these are usually around improving data quality or efficiency). Though I have also had colleagues dislike this, so yeah, depends on the colleagues you work with.
Most large companies are pleased to help their staff become more qualified and will often pay for the courses if you can demonstrate a business benefit - you have the perfect opportunity to fill all the slack in your day with gaining more skills - that will help you in your next job or maybe an enlarging of your position within the current company.
You sound a very useful worker. Come and work for me
Your employer should be thinking what other jobs or training you could do. Or maybe you could offer some ideas .
Lots of legal roles now like safeguarding, charitable working for your company to support good causes and look good to others
I'm not really sure how I feel about my line manager. I always feel so awkward around her. I don't hate her but things don't feel right. I get the feeling she doesn't like me much.
I've asked to try out more things before. If I ask again maybe I need to word it a bit better. I don't always express my feelings well and probably come off badly.
I do think that if I am asking to do more it at least shows I am at least determined and want to get a lot out of this.
I think where I work is a great place to learn about the field of comms. When I've asked before if I could do more things I probably didn't say the right things so maybe if I can come at it from a different angle I might be successful.
I absolutely HATE not having anything to do at work! Most of the time when I’m on shift I’m in a Nursing home and they are always very busy, so there’s plenty to keep me occupied all shift. But sometimes I get sent to a residential home where there’s not as much to do, I just end up feeling bored and restless. Once I’ve done everything that I can possibly find to do I end up at such a loose end. Sometimes I end up cleaning or reorganising just for something to do, or pacing!
Do you think perhaps that your job isn’t challenging enough for you? Do you need to look for a job that stretches you a bit more in order to feel fulfilled at work?
I am very like u when I have nothing to do I get anxious and bored.
I have 2 strategies
1. do online training - discuss with manager that this is ok or if there is a skill set needed by the company
2. look for opportunities within your company - is there not voluntary groups or social groups or charity raisers drives you could get involved in ?
hers some more stuff
3. Look at all aspects of your job, is there any processes u can improve on to save monay or time. if yes mention make a one page report and deliver it to your manager and see what happens.
4 the social media - can it be used to gain more customers ( or reach more ppl ). You could branch your current social media into a new one eg like from Facebook to Whatapp / Snapchat / Telegram
I get this, so I understand how having little to do can sap your self esteem and lead to demotivation.
The way I experience it is that the way to get more interesting work seems inevitably to lead to taking on leadership tasks, which entails more "people stuff" - and for me, that led to burnout and dangerous mental health.
Unfortunately I haven't yet found a way out of the situation, so I guess I'm just writing this to express sympathy. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful :-(
Yeah I hate not having to do anything at work. I just feel wrong and I get paranoid that everybody around me is like "She's not doing anything again!" Even though it's not really my fault.
I have thought that maybe I should look for a different job. I have looked every now and again but haven't found anything. I'll keep looking though!
Hey, no worries. I actually had the opposite problem at my last job - my boss expected me to do too much and of course it was my first job so I said yes and basically my mental and physical health deteriorated and I ended up losing the job and being very very ill. It took me over a year to find a new job, the one I have now.
Can't I just have a job with a nice, even workload?