It’s so easy to coast along when you’ve been in your job for a while and have plenty of experience. You can do it with your eyes shut! This is exactly the time when you need to do a mini career risk assessment and wake up!
Whenever your coasting, or on autopilot, check in and see if any of the following three things are showing up in your career:
- You’re comfortable
- The same patterns keep showing up
- You’re constantly challenged, but not in a good way.
So what do you do if they are?
If you’re in the comfort zone, be careful, life doesn’t exist just to be comfortable. We are here to grow and learn, so ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I learning?
- Can I take on something new that gets me out of my comfort zone?
- Is there something new I can study, or gain a new accreditation in my field?
- Can I mentor or train someone else?
When the same patterns keep showing up in our career (or life), it’s a message that’s trying to get through to us, and when we ignore the message, the signs keep getting louder. When you learn the lesson, the lesson disappears. So you need to take time to dig for the lessons in these similar experiences. This requires a bit of detective work, and quite often the need to talk it through with someone else to help you join the dots and see what’s going on. But the essence of it is that you want to identify what the common themes are, how are you feeling in these circumstances, and what skills are these situations calling for you to develop. (I touch on this in my book, Career Awakening)
If you’re constantly having external challenges come your way, it means you’re not challenging yourself. It ties into #1 above, you’re in a comfort zone. You need to choose your challenges, find ways to challenge yourself. Set yourself a stretch goal, apply for that promotion (any job you apply for should excite you and scare you a little too), give yourself 12 months to learn a new skill, choose a coach or a mentor that can help you continue to move forward, or overcome your fears that are holding you back (I happen to know a good one here).
Life is always trying to balance things out and shows us the duality to life, so when you slip into a place of ease always be proactive in balancing out the situation by challenging yourself.