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The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Chairman of the Bored

Chairman of the Bored

You've made it through your first few weeks of training and getting to know colleagues and supervisors at your new job. You're finally in the thick of things and getting to know what the position is really like. There's only one problem: You're already bored!

Before you install that instant messenger program on your phone or join an online Scrabble club, read the rest of this update.

Did you think you were the only one with this problem? Well, you're not. Workplace experts say a third of all Americans suffer from "boreout." Even those of us who work from home find ourselves looking at the clock the minute we come back from lunch.

This type of underemployment may have lead to the success of Cyber Monday, but it can also lead to a lot of stress if you feel like you're being underutilized or that your skills aren't being put to use. Most of the times I've experienced boreout on the job have been after years working the same position. I mean, how many times can you explain a beer menu?

If you've recently started a new job and have noticed that there's potential for boreout, take the opportunity to nip it in the bud and hold yourself your own personal "bored meeting" before it becomes a routine. The Christian Science Monitor advises employees to ask: "Do my bosses know about my ability? Do they know I don't have enough to do? Do I communicate what I want to do?"

If your employers don't respond with more opportunities, ask yourself if you'll be able to commit to a less than challenging position, or if you'll be able to take the initiative and make your own creative changes. Since I'm a freelance writer, I have a pretty lenient boss (Me!). I'm constantly asking her if she would like me to make her coffee or TiVo an episode of "Gossip Girl." The answer is always an enthusiastic, "Yes!" I occasionally ask myself to do serious things like answer phone calls and fill out invoices. It's not as fun, but at least I feel useful.

Are you experiencing boreout? What do you do with all your extra time? Do you know any shows I should order myself to TiVo?

—Joy Hepp

Posted: 12/4/08