If you were to ask anybody to answer the following question, what do you think their answer would be?
“Do you want to grow your career by finding more satisfying jobs where you can also earn more money?”
In the vast majority of cases—if not ALL of them—the answer to that question would be a resounding, “Yes!”
However, what people say and what people do are two distinctly different things. The fact of the matter is that not everybody does the things that are necessary to grow their careers . . . and they eventually regret it. In fact, they might even suffer in some way because of it (financially, emotionally, etc.)
So why does this happen? How do people believe one thing, but then their behavior does not reflect that belief, especially when it comes to something as important as their professional life?
Well, there are two reasons, and they are things that can absolutely stifle your career:
There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable, right? Well, for a certain amount of time, there isn’t. However, the longer you’re comfortable, the more likely that comfort will turn into . . . complacency. And if you’re complacent, then you are less likely to take the steps that are necessary to grow your career.
When you’re comfortable, you slip into a “good enough” frame of mind. Your job is “good enough.” Your career is “good enough.” You start lowering your expectations and changing your goals, none of which is acceptable for those who want to continually excel.
However, as damaging as being comfortable can be, it pales in comparison to #2.
Once you experience comfort, you start to like it. Then complacency sets in. And then you start to fear the unknown, namely because you’re not motivated to break out of your comfort zone.
There are a lot of problems associated with fear, starting with the fact that it feeds off itself. At first, it’s just a seed of doubt, and before long, you’re almost overcome with stark terror at the thought of striking out and finding a new opportunity.
It’s a slippery slope from comfort to complacency to fear. Once you reach the bottom of the slope, it’s very difficult to make your way back up the professional growth hill.
Those who are the most successful in their career do not embrace the status quo, they do not let comfort pervade their existence, and they do not allow fear to dictate their next move.
Where do you stand in regards to these two things? Are you “content” or “comfortable” at the moment? Does the thought of taking steps to climb the career ladder create a knot of tension in the pit of your stomach?
Take stock of where you stand, and then choose a course of action. Because what you consider best for you in the short term might not the best for you in the long run.