It’s wonderful to feel fulfilled at work, comfortable with your colleagues, your boss, and the company. If you truly enjoy your work why would you even consider pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?
The danger is that being too complacent can derail your career.
Dictionary.com’s definition of complacency is “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.”
If you assume that the status quo will remain in place, you are setting yourself up to be blindsided. If you stay in the safety of your complacency without a notion as to what’s happening in the company or in your industry, your safety zone can become a danger zone overnight. Changes are occurring all around you that can make your skills and competencies obsolete. Potential mergers and downsizing can be potential landmines unless you are tapped into the politics of the company and listening carefully to the warning signs that change is about to happen.
Here are five signs that your complacency can derail you.
1. You are no longer striving to do your best.
In this highly competitive job market, there are many people who would love your job. If you have been doing just enough to get by, beware. You must continue to add value and meet and exceed expectations to keep your job.
2. You are not staying up to date in your field and industry.
When was the last time you took a course or attended an industry conference? Do you regularly read trade magazines, ezines, and journals? It is easy to lose your credibility overnight. The next new hire on your team can show up with excellent credentials and want your job. In my recent interview with Anne Weisberg, Chief Strategy Office of the FutureWork Institute, she cites nurturing your ambition as critical for women’s leadership advancement and this means learning to master your expertise.
3. You are not seeking or taking advantage of new opportunities.
If you don’t seek or take advantage of opportunities your skills become stale. Doing the same thing over and over gets boring. You remain invisible. Key stakeholders and decision makers don’t know the value that you contribute. How will you be able to position yourself if the company reorganizes or changes in any way?
Look for opportunities to work on new projects and maintain your credibility, expand your skill set, and increase your exposure across the company.