Replacing Complacency with Responsibility
In every position that you hold, there should come a time that you feel confident in your work, are able to complete your tasks quickly and without error, and are receiving minimal feedback from your boss due to how self-sufficient you have become. Once you have reached this level of comfort in your role, your complacency is a sign that you have reached a crossroads in your career. Essentially, you have three choices: remain complacent in your current position, proactively seek new responsibilities to grow in your current role, or look for a job that will provide you with a new challenge. Since staying comfortable rarely advances your career, and unless you are unhappy with your current company there’s no point in looking for a new job, the best option is often to start seeking new challenges while remaining in the same role.
If you are feeling bored and complacent while completing the same day to day tasks at work, consider using the following to expand your responsibilities and demonstrate your initiative and drive.
- Fill the cracks: Every office has tasks or responsibilities that somehow manage to fall through the cracks as new projects arise, job descriptions change, or new employees are hired. While these cracks can cause problems, they can also provide you with an opportunity to contribute to the team in a new way by taking on the challenge of filling in those cracks. If you are unaware of where the cracks are, take the time to observe and reach out to your boss and team members to find out where your assistance is needed. In addition, it is important to communicate what areas you will be taking on to avoid overlap and confusion.
- Support your team: Have you noticed a coworker who is far less comfortable and relaxed at work than you are? Be a good team member and ask them if there are any responsibilities that you can take off of their plate. Taking something small from their plate will free up their time for more important projects, reduce their stress level, and provide you with a new challenge. In this process, make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself with too much of their work, and make sure that your boss gives this transfer of responsibility a thumbs up.
- Seek training opportunities: Continuing education is often forgotten once an employee has on boarded with a company; however, finding training opportunities is an ideal way to show initiative and dedication to your career path. By going to seminars and attending training sessions, you may discover that the feeling of complacency that you had at work was misguided. Often, continuing our education helps us to determine the areas that we need to work on, and gives us ideas of how to grow in our field.
- Talk to your boss: If you are feeling complacent, schedule a time to meet with your boss to discuss how you envision moving forward in your career. More often than not, they will be able to give you feedback and ideas of what responsibilities you can add to your current workload that will not only help you to avoid boredom, but will also help you to grow professionally. This is also the time to talk to them about possibly moving up in the company if you feel that you are ready for a new level of responsibility and new job title. Your boss will appreciate the initiative shown and it will give them a clear idea of where you want to go in your career.
Ideally, these four ideas will inspire you to be proactive in your career by seeking new responsibilities that will not only benefit your company but will also help you to gain meaningful experiences that will lead to professional growth.