Career Advice

5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Complacent At Work

posted on February 22, 2018 | by Chloe Gibson

5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Complacent At Work

Going to the same place and doing the same work every day can get a little repetitive. I don’t know about you guys, but if I don’t have projects and new, exciting opportunities happening with work, I find it very easy to just slip into auto pilot. And I hate when I realize I’ve let this happen! I always want to be contributing and the one coming up with new ideas or approaches. After all, that’s part of what makes me an asset to those who hire me! If I get complacent, how am I still providing that value (and earning a paycheck)?

This can happen to anyone, so don’t feel bad if this is you – it’s definitely been me. The important thing is to recognize it and turn it around ASAP. Hopefully these five tips can get you on your way to doing just that!

Regular check-ins with your boss

Whether you’re self employed or work in corporate America, there’s always someone to check in with. Basically, a mini review, whether it’s casual or more structured. If you have a boss, schedule time with them – even offer to take them to lunch – to touch base on their satisfaction with your performance. Don’t talk shop the whole time, though. I think it’s important for bosses to see employees as people, so bring up some of your hobbies and ask them about theirs.

If you’re self employed, check in with your clients. Are they happy with the progress you’ve made for them? What recommendations can you make to take them to the next level? Always be ready to offer something new, but be sure they’re 110% satisfied with past work as well.

Meet new people in your industry

One of the biggest difference makers for me when transitioning to being a full-time freelancer, was meeting new people in my industry. Whether that meant going to networking events and getting involved locally, emailing other people in my industry about potentially working together, or just meeting up for a coffee with someone you think is doing cool work. Never stop building new connections because they’ll eventually become your greatest resource.

Do something creative

It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, CPA or a blogger – get out and do something that gets your creative juices flowing! We all have them, it’s just a matter of stepping back from the stresses of daily life and finding something that allows for creative thinking. This can help you see things from different angles. Plus, it may even solve work-related problems that you had previously hit a roadblock on.

Keep an eye out for new opportunities

I’m not saying you should constantly be applying for a new job, but I think it’s important to know how other companies within your industry are growing and functioning. Maybe you see a job posting that looks interesting and it includes work that isn’t being done or on the radar of your current company. Instead of applying elsewhere, bring this to the attention of your manager. Maybe there’s an opportunity for you to expand your responsibilities within.

Learn new skills

No matter where you work or what industry you’re in, there’s always something new to learn. Even if you hate your job and think it has nothing to offer you, there’s probably still something you could learn while you’re there. Finding opportunities to continue your education is something that usually impresses the boss, so look for a conference or a class and get to it! Plus, employers are usually willing to pay for this sort of thing, so there’s no excuse.

We all get into funks with work, just remember there’s always a way out!

What have you done to avoid being complacent at work?