Your Career

Professional Development

Don’t Let Complacency Derail Your Career: 5 Ways To Make The Shift And Achieve Your Goals

April 13, 2021

Written By:  Peju Akintorin, Associate Director

It’s been 3 years since you landed your brand-new role, and that new job high is at an all-time low. Excitement jitters are a thing of the past, tasks have become so mundane and comfort has become your new best friend. You shy away from every new project opportunity because it will mean taking a risk – which you don’t want to do. Sound familiar?

It’s called career complacency. A comfortable yet toxic place to be. Not to be confused with contentment – which can catapult your career to higher heights. By definition, contentment is a state of being happy with where you are, while still focusing on what is ahead. Complacency is the feeling of self-satisfaction, without mindfulness of the future. Simply put – contentment acts, and complacency neglects.

As professionals, it is important that we actively pursue our goals, remain alert, take risks and never lose hope for a brighter future. A bout of complacency can cost you missing out on achieving your goals – which can hold you back for years to come.

Move over to the other side by trying these 5 strategies to kick complacency to the curb:

  1.     Know or revisit what you wantImagine yourself

What vision and/or goals do you have for your career? (Re)capture that vision. Understanding this is a critical component to career success. The truth is: you cannot be what you cannot see. Sit down. Envision. Doing this exercise will ignite a new passion and desire to achieve more.

  1.     Avoid routines. Take risks. Be curiousChallenge yourself

Complacency is a state of mind that can be switched by a shift in mindset. Start thinking of ways to find new meaning to your role. Raise your hand for new opportunities. Try new ways of doing things and free yourself from that rut! The best advice I have received: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable – it’s the only way you can grow. Try it. 

  1.     Focus on you! – Invest in yourself

An easy way to fall into complacency is not investing in yourself. When you chose to develop your skills, expand your mind, balance work and play and just take care of yourself, being complacent will become a thing of the past.  Always remember this: The surest way to remain relevant and fruitful in a competitive economy is to invest in yourself. Give it a shot. It will yield good results.

  1.     Upgrade your network – Surround yourself

Chances are if you are consistently complacent – so are your friends. Did you know that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with? My advice: If those 5 people do not have the qualities that you are looking for in your future ideal version of yourself, distance (or dump) them. Ultimately – who you surround yourself with is so important in achieving long-term success in your career and all areas of life. Choose carefully!

  1.     Stay motivated!Encourage yourself

Ever had to give yourself a “pep talk” when the going got tough? Yep, that’s me too. The funny thing is that it works. Why not try it daily until you get your thoughts aligned with your goals. Key point here: Whatever you focus on expands. Focus on your goals, focus on your future, focus on achieving and succeeding. Before you know it, you will begin to see what you say happen in your life.

Remember that a thriving career takes work. Achieving your goals takes work. Be willing to do the work. This, along with a positive attitude, will help you steer clear of a complacent career and get you back on track. Good luck!

Leave a Comment