Comfortable woman sitting at her desk with her feet up.

Usually, being comfortable is a great thing. Finding a comfy chair, heating a room to the right temperature, or finding a good group of friends you can be yourself with. However, when it comes to your career, getting comfortable can be quite dangerous. Feeling comfortable in a career can lead to a lack of growth, and failure to move forward. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss why this happens, and how to avoid falling victim to it.

How It Starts

It’s certainly acceptable to be comfortable with your coworkers, and your boss. However, being too comfortable with your daily tasks, responsibilities, and new projects is what can ultimately damage your career. Whenever you start a new job, there is a certain learning curve associated with it. You have to find out how the company functions, how the people work, and the best way to do your job. This can take quite a while to master. Knowing how to efficiently tackle your own tasks, harness the skills of your coworkers, and find a good work flow between you and your boss can even take up to a year.

This learning process is great though. It’s a great chance to learn more about how you work, and truly find the best way to execute the role you are tasked with. Once the learning curve finally levels off is where things get dangerous. At this point, you know how everyone works best, including yourself. Not only can you do a great job on projects and tasks, you can complete them in a timely fashion as well. This comes with renewed confidence when you approach work. However, this is also where things can take a turn for the worse. It’s at this point that you can possibly get too comfortable, and begin taking everything you’ve learned for granted.

Comfortable To A Fault

The worst version of this results in an overly confident employee falling behind on tasks, and failing to complete their responsibilities to the extent they could previously. This isn’t likely for most people. However, it’s possible that feeling complacent damages your career, since you don’t pursue anything beyond what you already have. This is extremely common, and too many professionals wind up in this position.

Being extremely successful in one role with no change is certainly not a bad thing. However, failing to chase after new responsibilities and take risks can keep you from advancing in your career. It could even prevent you from reaching long term goals you have, like being a manger in 3 years. To achieve those growth goals, you have to keep striving for more.

The Benefits of Not Being Complacent

One easy way to combat this is to never be content with what you already know and do. Always seek out new learning opportunities, including training, seminars, and certifications. Doing so will not only make you a better employee, it will also transform you into a more marketable candidate in the job market. Once you begin looking for chances to better yourself, you may be surprised by how many opportunities there are, both internal and external to your company.

Internally, it is almost guaranteed that there options to expand your responsibilities. If you’ve become comfortable with your current workload, look for other areas you could assist in. Could you help a coworker on a project? Is there a way you can make your boss’ job easier? If you seek out these opportunities, they will increase your value at the company. A good boss will also notice this activity, and reward it with either a promotion, a raise, or at the very least a thank you.

On the Path for Success

Lastly, seek out new opportunities. It’s great to stay with a company, but you should always be conscious of the state of the job market. There may be a high need for professionals like you, and it could be a great time to land your dream job. You will never know what the case is unless you make an active effort to stay informed. Keep your eye out for new job postings and messages from those within your network. Seeing what is out there will help you realize if you are being undervalued, or if you could find a job that is more in line with what you want.

Getting too comfortable is a surprisingly common problem. While most mistakes befall workers who are unmotivated or uninterested in their job, this happens mainly to successful employees, which makes it very dangerous. Only be dedicating yourself to continuous growth and development can you avoid falling victim to complacency. Continuous learning is important to any career, and will help you continue to move onward and upward!