How Complacency Can Cost Us in Our Careers

 In Career Tips

How Complacency Can Cost Us in Our CareersAre you in a good job? Are you feeling safe and secure in your environment? Do you believe there are prospects for you? If you can say yes to these questions, well done. That is a great position to be in. Even if you’re in that position and you’re reading this, you may still want to consider what you can do. Why do we pose that as suggestion to you? The reason is that, what with the uncertainty that there seems to continuously be in our national economies, anything can happen at any stage. This may be obvious to you, but you may still have been flowing through your career without giving much thought to a contingency plan. This article is about 3 key variables that may make you want to think about plan B. They are your boss, your organization and you.

When an organization makes you redundant, it’s not necessarily to do with you. There are situations where it can appear to be, but even in those scenarios it may be that it’s really not to do with you, but the company can’t tell you. From an organizational perspective, there could be a change in control or something else going on behind the scenes. For whatever reason it may happen, this situation can work for you. It may be the right time for you to leave the organization anyway if your contribution is not being valued as highly as it should be. Something like this happening can help you shake yourself out of a complacent period and realize that you’ve been coasting for too long and you’re not comfortable with it. You may come to recognize that the employer organization you have now is not going to be an organization of the future. Any of these things are possible. It’s time for us to accept that the impact of organizational change can change our lives.

Apart from redundancies, there may be other changes going on within your company that are prompting you to reassess your position there. The things that satisfy you change, particularly in work. For example, it’s possible that there’s a change in the technology used across your organization or a change of the business’ systems and processes. It may be that the company isn’t exploring newly developed markets or is no longer fitting in with its current market, all of which can make you feel that the organization is no longer the one for you. Quite possibly, profit margins are being squeezed, sales are not going so well and the attitude of the business and how it feels to work there has changed. So what was good now seems more vulnerable and any of these sorts of changes will have an impact on both employee and employer.

It’s true that not only does your organization change, but also you as a person and as a professional. When we think about ourselves, we don’t think about ourselves as changing. If we were to think of ourselves like that, we may recognize it is that our own needs that change as well as those of our employer. Our attitude towards our work, our colleagues and our company changes too, both in terms of our desire for more and our sense that we’re not going anywhere. If we’re not cognisant to the importance of our continuous learning, we can find ourselves stuck in a rut we’ve outgrown.

Our personal life changes over time, as does our attitude and approach to colleagues. Your needs in life, regarding growth, health and family, change. So how easy is it for you to be just be sitting there, like a sitting duck in still water? Our complacency can cost us if we do not open the shutters and understand for ourselves what is going on. We also have to understand that our value in the market may decrease if things do not change up and rock us out of our complacency. That’s why, even if things are going fine, you’ll always need a plan B.

By Simon North, Founder of Position Ignition ( and the Career Ignition Club (, the UK’s leading career change and career development company and platform. He is also the author of 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips ( Follow him @PosIgnition for more help with your career challenges.

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