April marks 6 months at my job. During the first 4 months, I focused on exceeding expectations. But after a few months, I noticed that I felt sort of burned out and I’ve become more comfortable in my work environment – which ultimately led to what I feel is complacency. Although management has given me great feedback, I want to do better. I never want to settle for being good. I want to be great!
Are you starting to feel complacent at work too? Here’s what i’m doing to get out of my comfort zone and kill complacency.
Take Ownership of Your Tasks
Are there any specific tasks that you are responsible for at work? Take ownership of those tasks by doing them before anyone expresses a need for them to be done. For example, if I notice that we’re working on a project that requires something within my scope of work, I speak up – whether in meetings or through email – and volunteer to do them. Even if it’s understood that this is something you’re responsible for, its better to over communicate and let your team know that you’re taking ownership of the task, than to always have to be reminded to do it. Proactively identify assignments that you can do to help make things easier for your team. Which leads to my next point.
Volunteer to Do More
Maybe there’s a task that really isn’t within your scope of work or is for someone slightly more senior than you. If you notice that they are overwhelmed or don’t have the time, volunteer to help. Even if you can’t complete the full task, you probably can do something to help them get it done quicker. Whether that is doing research or typing up an outline, offer to help in any way you can. This allows you to learn new things and shows your managers that you are taking initiative and trying to grow. However, only volunteer to take on more if you can manage your current workload.
Explore Other Areas of Interest
Like I said before, your employer wants to see that you are being proactive in regards to your professional development. If you are interested in something, let your manager know. Maybe your manager will recommend you for a new project or allow you to work on something new within your current scope of work. My family always said “a closed mouth never gets fed”. Even though they were referring to food and being hungry, this applies to work as well. No one will ever know what you’re capable of or interested in if you don’t express it. Opportunities will only be presented to you if you are vocal and intentional about wanting to grow.
On the other hand, maybe there’s an area you don’t know much about and aren’t sure if you’d be interested in. If an opportunity to work in this area is presented, try it. You’ll never know what you like or what you’re good at until you try it.
Set Goals to Benchmark Your Progress
Set monthly or weekly goals to benchmark your progress. Currently, my manager has me focusing on 6 month to one year goals. I created these goals in January and have already been able to cross 3 off the list, but as I cross goals off the list, I add more. Benchmark your progress to make sure you are constantly improving and growing. When you create your goals, be sure to outline the steps needed to achieve your end result. For example, if you work in PR and want to get better at drafting pitches, WRITE MORE PITCHES. Whenever an opportunity to write a pitch is proposed, volunteer. The more you practice the better you’ll get. Three months later, look at a pitch you wrote when you first started your journey compared to your most recent work.
Sometimes it can be easy to get complacent at work. You should feel comfortable and enjoy your work environment, but never become complacent. Truth is, you can always be replaced or lose your job when least expected. Anyone can do your job, but not everyone can do it the way you do. Take your role and make it your own. Employers want to see constant progress and proof that you are invested in your own personal and professional development. Strive to never be the same employee you were when you first started – be better.
Want to smash complacency and achieve your professional goals? Track your progress with this free progress tracker, and be sure to let me know how it goes by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram!
Sign up for my Tenacious Talk newsletter to get more tips like these and motivation to help you on your journey.