Written by Dani Robin, Account Executive for PHOX


We all enter college with the hope that when we finish, we will not only come out of it with a diploma, but also opportunities to start our budding careers. During senior year, this transition becomes much more prevalent as the search for jobs and internships begins. However, as young individuals entering the work force, we sometimes cut ourselves short when it comes to finding a job that makes us truly happy. Stability has been known to override risk taking, and because senior year can start to feel like being on a sinking ship, we look to grab the closest and most secure lifeline we have. But by taking the safer career option, college graduates may be setting themselves up for unhappiness or boredom in the workplace.


It is sometimes hard to distinguish the subtle difference between being unhappy and being bored at work. Both feelings result in a general decrease in work ethic, but one is far less severe than the other. After perusing Kathryn Kuttis’ blog, prlandscape.wordpress.com[1], I came across an article[2] that offers some tips on how to tell the difference.


  1. Is the feeling entering into your life outside of work?

If you’re simply bored, you will not feel unhappiness in your life overall. It will not affect outside relationships or leave you unmotivated on your days off.


  1. Can you pinpoint the exact reason?

If you can pinpoint something, like a coworker or boss, it usually means you’re unhappy with your environment. If not, then you may just have a desire to be challenged and are therefore feeling bored.


  1. How does your body feel?

Counting down the minutes until the day is over isn’t a serious health affliction, but those work-related nightmares aren’t meaningless. High levels of anxiety at an office can begin to affect one’s body and sleeping habits.


  1. What’s the biggest challenge?

If you are being challenged at work, but find yourself still dreading going to the office every Monday, then you are unhappy. Don’t let that young brain and fresh college education go to waste on challenges that are not keeping you motivated!


  1. Have you been more angry than usual?

Anger can stem from boredom because you can feel stuck in a situation with no means of escape. Unhappiness leads to disappointment, so it’s important to ask yourself where your anger is stemming from.


In moving forward toward graduation, it is important that seniors keep these tips in mind and remember the differences between boredom and unhappiness. While for many people it is hard to factor in happiness when also thinking about salary and benefits, it is just as important in the long run. When looking for jobs, college students should take in to account the life that goes along with it. It all depends on one’s personal fit with a business. Here are some ways to discover yours!


  1. Make a list and set some goals.

Your time in college is as valuable as your parents have always said. Make a list of all of the things you want in a job. Next, scale this list in an order of importance. Try to grasp an understanding of what you really want from your job, and then when you’re looking at different companies, you’ll be able to see where they hit your marks.


  1. Put your cyber skills to the test.

As the Millennial generation, we have become professionals at Googling. Use your skills and dig deep for research about a company. See what kinds of articles have been written about the company, if it has any awards for excellent employee treatment or scathing reviews from human resources directors. The Internet is a vast resource and will give you many answers if you take the time to look for them.


  1. Set up an informational interview.

If you have your heart set on a company, try to find a contact that works there through friends or through LinkedIn. Then ask the contact for an informational interview. It is the perfect time to ask someone who works there about their personal experience and thoughts about the company.



Connect with the PHOX team!


Alexa Stalsberg, Account Supervisor

Dani Robin, Account Executive

Olivia Dietch, Account Executive

Kaitlyn Penrod, Account Executive


[1] https://prlandscape.wordpress.com/

[2] http://www.fastcompany.com/3056392/hit-the-ground-running/the-difference-between-feeling-bored-and-feeling-unhappy-at-work

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