How to Talk to Your Manager If You’re Not Feeling Challenged or Pushed at Work


All professionals will have some downtime at work on occasion. Most workplaces have an ebb and flow, leading some periods to be incredibly busy while others are very quiet. However, if you find yourself feeling bored and disengaged nearly every day, that could signal that you are not sufficiently challenged at work. In order to remedy the issue, speaking with your manager may be necessary. 

Four Tips to Keep in Mind When Talking to Your Manager About Your Work 

Telling your manager that you do not feel pushed at work can seem like a daunting prospect. However, your manager likely is not fully aware that you do not feel sufficiently challenged, especially if you are part of a large team. As a result, you do need to have a conversation if you want the situation to improve. 

1. Schedule A Meeting

Begin by scheduling a formal meeting with your boss. Since this is a discussion best held in private, it is best to allocate some time to having the conversation. Plus, since you know when the meeting will occur, you have time to gather information that highlights that you are being underutilized. Jot down notes about your typical workday and assignments. Estimate how many hours you participate in engaging work as well as how much of your time could be better spent. 

2. Don’t Be Critical

Once the meeting begins, avoid being accusatory. Your lack of challenging work is not likely to be a conscious decision on your manager’s part. Instead, it is likely an oversight. Alternatively, it could be that your boss is not aware of the size and nature of your current workload, leaving them making assignment decisions based on an assumption or old data. 

3. Have A Solution In Mind

Instead, present your manager with a potential solution for remedying the situation. If you want additional responsibilities, provide a few examples of your previous work that showcase your capabilities and discuss some tasks that pique your interest. That way, you are not just arriving with a problem; you are also armed with a possibly viable resolution. 

4. Stay Open-Minded

Remain open-minded as the conversation progresses. Your manager may have input that involves other changes to your workload that could challenge you. Make sure to hear your boss out if they present an alternative, as their view on the matter is always valuable. 

Do not expect your manager to replace critical duties you handle simply because they are a bit tedious. If everyone has tasks on their plate that are crucial to operations and are not overly engaging, then those responsibilities may be your fair share of those duties. The idea is to find additional activities that will push you professionally that you can add to your workload and not to try and pawn off less than desirable tasks on a coworker who is already handling some less-than-exciting work of their own. 

Still Not Challenged at Work?

If you have a conversation with your manager and the situation doesn’t change, then finding a new position might be your only choice to feel challenged again. If a new architecture, engineering or construction job is what you need to push yourself professionally, the skilled team at RealStreet can make landing your perfect opportunity easier than ever before. Contact us to discuss your ideal job with one of our recruiters today and see how our services can help you find a suitably challenging position quickly and efficiently. 

The RealStreet folks are always helpful. They were instrumental in landing me a rewarding FEMA assignment in Southern California.

KC Green

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