Keeping your foot on the pedal: recognising and avoiding complacency at work

Keeping your foot on the pedal: recognising and avoiding complacency at work
January 7, 2019 Todd Richardson

Many of us are returning to work this week, after a much-needed Christmas break, with a clean slate and fresh goals for the year ahead.

The end of year holiday is a great way to recharge the batteries and rebuild our momentum.

It also provides us with the opportunity to take a step back to asses our career with fresh eyes. As a result, January becomes a busy time for us in the recruitment world as we start to connect with numerous people who have taken the time to reassess their goals and set their sights set on taking on a new opportunity in the New Year.

Unfortunately, the momentum needed to keep challenging ourselves and progressing in our careers takes energy, drive and discipline to maintain. And I’m sure we can all relate to starting the year with big hopes for our resolutions only to lose our gas as the months go by and we begin to feel comfortable with our routine or current successes.

It’s at this point that we again start to lift our foot from the pedal and become vulnerable to the lures of complacency.

And complacency, while a comfortable place to be, can stagnate our career development and expose us to a blindside at work when unexpected changes arise. This is particularly relevant to the construction industry, where redundancy is a very real and constant threat.

So, how do you overcome complacency and keep working to the best of your ability?

With so many catalysts driving workplace complacency there is no one-size-fits-all solution but what I will say is that practising self-awareness and always having a goal can be key to overcoming it.


Practise self-awareness –

If we are self-aware, we will be better equipped to identify when we’ve become complacent at work and understand the why behind it. It also allows us to uncover any negative habits and thought-patterns we may have adopted and then replace them with positive ones.  Even little habits, like constantly picking up your phone through the day to scan social media, can manifest into something that has a considerably negative impact on your focus and motivation at work.

Adopting positive habits in your day, or at least working to identify and curb the negative ones, will help you to overcome complacency.

For me personally, making sure I go for a run every day is something that keeps me motivated. This isn’t something I do as a short-term fix to lose some extra kilos that may have crept on over the holidays. It’s a habit that’s been a part of my daily routine for many years because it allows me to wind down and keeps me feeling positive and aware of how I’m feeling.

Excellence, after all, is not an act; it’s a habit. So we should strive to make all of our habits positive ones.

Always have a goal –

Following that, you should always have a goal, even if you have just met one. Whether it’s big or small, goals drive us to keep looking forward. And if we’re not looking forward, we’ve become complacent.

But make sure your goals genuine and measurable to keep yourself motivated!

If one of your goals for the new year was to take on a new position, or if you think you’ve become complacent in your career and you’re ready to see what else is out there – please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team. Or search our new roles here.

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