BOREOUT – WHY You’re Frustrated at Being Prevented From Fulfilling YOUR Potential


DO YOU SUFFER BOREOUT – The Affliction of Smart Creative People?

Before we begin our foray into my tale of how Boreout entered my life, and my handling of the fatigue-inducing discontent of it, I’ll give you some back story about the word itself. It’s unlikely that you’ve ever heard of it before, but the term may resonate profoundly with you when you see the resemblances of its symptoms creeping into your own working life. But don’t worry

Beating Boreout is what this piece is all about!

Boreout – a new-fangled word for a generation of workers with the same condition – Dan Trepanier

Like industrial disease for the soul, it rouses boredom, stemming from a lack of real challenge in your work therefore creating a lack of interest. It’s an affliction many intelligent, creative people suffer – including myself. What dealing with such a condition has taught me is that losing interest in work tasks because they are not challenging or fulfilling enough is nothing to be ashamed of — it’s a part of life. Especially for the clever creative people such as you and I.

The Birth of Boreout

Coined by Peter Werder and Philippe Rothlin, two Swiss business consultants, the word consists of the three elements mentioned above – boredom, lack of challenge, and lack of interest. The pair dispute with the common notion that a n employee is lazy; they assert that the “lazy” employee has lost interest in work tasks.

Those suffering from Boreout are dissatisfied with their professional situation and are frustrated at being prevented from fulfilling their potential.

This could be by ways of not using their skills, knowledge, and abilities to contribute to their company’s development. Or from receiving official recognition for their efforts. The deflated feeling of being underappreciated is not a mood that compels productivity, that’s for sure.

Blame It On Boreout

Why wasn’t such a phrase devised earlier?

  • So now you know what Boreout means and can probably resound it’s meaning to your own working life. I’ll delve a little deeper into the word and you may see more parallels…

Such as dragging out your working tasks.

  • That report due on Wednesday could easily be done in eight hours, yet you prefer to ensure an entire three days is set aside to complete it – even though for two of those days you’re checking out gossip sites, emailing friends and doing a bit of online banking.

Avoiding extra work.

  • Why do more of the same for no extra reward? One point to remember that the solution to banishing Boreout is not more work to do!

Feigning your commitment to your job.

  • ‘Working’ through your lunch, whilst in reality you’re sat eating your six-inch sub surfing the Web at your desk (possibly even reading this… just remember to keep that spreadsheet visible to keep the pretence up!). Which leads me to my next point…

Few of us Boreouts, if any, actually want to be uncovered as being just that – we certainly don’t want to quit or be fired. Now might be a good time to note the fact that the Boreout ailment is mostly confined to office jobs. For example, it’s rare to find a fireman or pet therapist suffering from Boreout.

Bore Off, Boreout


I loved the cause-driven organization I worked for and did for over nineteen-plus years. Most of what I did was a ‘been there done that’ situation. I was well compensated, had great benefits, lots of time off, worked up the street from home and was surrounded by great people. There were lots of folks who would have adored to be in my position. Yet despite all the positives, why was I feeling as if on most days I was bashing my head against a glass ceiling? Using a tiny percentage of my brain, with my passion left at the door, I began to carry the burden of becoming a Boreout.

At first, I questioned myself. Was I an ungrateful privileged, middle class whiner living in the big city expecting daily grand gestures of adoration from my employer? Or had I simply outgrown my job and was this my turning point to realising that fact? Of course the curse of Boreout reared its ugly head and I considered using its familiar coping mechanisms – to fake my passion and keep up a pretence of remaining a committed employee. That’s only natural, and that may be where you are right now.

But I implore you to nip this soul consuming condition in the bud – and I’ll guide you along the way.


Banashing Borout

Let’s begin with your options – you have two:

  • Stop burying your head in the sand! Analyse your job situation. Could you look for a solution within the company you are currently in?
  • Take the bull by the horns and put yourself out there for doing what matters to live and work on your own terms!  

Do you suffer from Boreout? Yes or No?

Boredom, lack of challenge, and lack of interest are afflictions many intelligent and creative people suffer - Dan Trepanier

Dan Trepanier

Certified, Personal Wellness Trainer