We’ve talked before about the danger of letting fear hold you back. But in this article, we want to specifically talk about the danger of getting too comfortable in your job, or being afraid to try something new.

Sure, changing roles can be daunting, particularly if you’re content with where you are at the moment. But staying in the same place, without growing, progressing or achieving your full potential, can be even more terrifying.

We’re certainly not advocating for changing jobs ‘just for the heck of it’. Far from it! Career progression can often occur within the same organisation, and many candidates we’ve placed have accessed incredible opportunities by rising through the ranks in one business.

The danger of getting comfortable in a role is stagnating in your career. 

Signs of being too comfortable

What you need to avoid is reaching the end of your career trajectory and staying at the same level. This can happen for a few reasons. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

You’re not interested anymore

If you’re not interested anymore, you’ll see work as just ‘work’. It’s what you do to get money. You go in every day, do the same sort of activities and collect your paycheck every month. It’s not particularly enjoyable and doesn’t add a lot to your life. If anything, it’s a bit of a nuisance. 

You’ve given up hope 

Perhaps when you started here, you were full of hope. Every promotion had your name on it, and you’d work overtime to prove yourself. You loved the challenge of making something of yourself! But you aren’t quite as motivated now, after a few years. Maybe you’ve been passed over for opportunities a few times. Maybe management likes you being where you are. Maybe you’re not quite feeling it.

You’ve not being challenged

Maybe you’re not being stimulated. You’re not learning anything new, and you’re not really trying that hard. You need a new challenge, but you’re too scared to ask or you don’t think there’s any opportunity for you. Or perhaps you are asking for new opportunities, but they’re not being given to you. Maybe you’re ‘too good’ at what you’re doing now, or maybe management is passing over existing staff for new opportunities and turning straight to hiring new people to fill roles.

You don’t really care

We’ve all experienced feeling disenchanted with work, but this becomes a serious concern when the disenchantment lasts for a while and you don’t do anything about it. When you don’t really care about what you’re doing anymore, you can put in less effort, fail to go above and beyond for customers, start becoming resentful towards others, and generally become miserable. People can stay in jobs for decades with an ‘I don’t care attitude’ without trying to change their situation.

You’re at the top

Perhaps you’ve just gone as far as you can go. The only further promotion you could get is running the business yourself. You might be on a great wage, managing a team and very comfortable with where you’re at. But are you happy? Are you stimulated? Are you learning? Being at the top in a business doesn’t mean you’re at the top in your career.

When fear rules the roost

We can think of plenty of candidates we’ve worked with who were in a stagnating position in their jobs. They could have (and probably should have) taken a leap of faith to take up a new opportunity, but got scared and decided to stay in their existing role. As people with an outside perspective of a candidate’s potential and value, this makes us sad. We want to see people achieve their goals and dreams, not live in fear.

When fear gets the better of you, work can be a disappointment. While it’s natural to experience peaks and troughs in your job satisfaction, if you’ve been a trough for a few years and aren’t feeling motivated to look for something else, ask yourself what the worst case scenario would be if you did decide to move on.

When leaps of faith are taken

Then, there are the go-getter candidates that truly make us proud! One example came to mind when writing this article.

James chose career progression over financial gain

A few months ago we came across a particularly impressive individual who had been self-employed as a mortgage broker throughout his career, and was earning a great income. James Christie is now a PAYG mortgage broker at Property Planning Australia.

He said of his decision to make the move, “I was in a fairly good financial position and didn’t need the change, but I wanted to challenge myself.”

Property Planning Australia is able to offer James the systems, processes and support to grow his career as a mortgage broker. 

“I wrote down what I wanted and where I was at in life,” he said, “and the one thing I was able to sacrifice to get there was income. I don’t have kids or a lot of overheads right now, so if there’s any time in life I could take a leap like this, it’s now. So far, it’s been good and I’m really happy with the decision.”

Should I stay or should I go?

If you’re at a crossroads, unsure whether to take a leap or stick it out where you’re at, we encourage you to sit down and work out what your career goals are, and what you really want. Come up with a three to five-year plan for where you’d like to be, and list the pros and cons of your current situation. Remember, it’s not always about your career alone. Many people also need to consider the needs of their family, health and more.

We work through these kinds of considerations with lots of candidates, and we can work with you to help you discover how to take your career to the next level

Get in touch for a free career consultation with one of our recruitment consultants – we’re here to help you.