This may sound like a foreign concept to a lot of people (and an overly familiar one to others) but sometimes, you might not have all that much going on in your job. Sure, most of the time you’re so busy that you wonder if you could buy more limbs on the black market to increase your typing productivity. But there’s those select few days where your boss is our of town, the emails have dried up and your to-do list is all checked off. What the hell do you do?
First off, you’ll want to make sure you’ve done everything that needs doing and you’ve done it well. Nothing is more embarrassing than asking your boss for extra tasks and responsibility for her to turn around and point out mistakes in your earlier work. Check and double check everything. Then, ask your boss if there’s something they need a hand with. Maybe if they have a spare moment they can teach you a new skill that will take the weight off them in the future – for example, recently on a down moment my lovely boss taught me how to raise purchase orders on our system, so I can handle accounting.
“But wait!”, I hear you say, “my boss isn’t here! I can’t ask them for more jobs!”. And that’s going to happen some days, too. Especially if your business deals in overseas operations, you might be left to fend for yourself a couple of times. So in this instance (and with the blessing of your superiors), why not ask people in other departments about what they do and if there’s anything you could assist with? You’ll invariably find that people will jump for an extra hand and you’ll get a new perspective on how the company works. While 98% of the time I deal with ticketing, my boss being in Europe on business means I’ve spent a lot of time learning about iTunes campaigns and digital marketing strategies employed here at Warner.
Or, if you work in a small office, maybe consider lending your help to outside agencies. Getting involved in something like a blog is a great way to meet people, make connections and filling your free time. Who knows what it might lead to?
As always, you can grab me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via our contact page or at out Twitter @IATTG if you want to chat about anything at all. What do you do to fill the free time when you’re working?