Never get too comfortable

By Marc Littlemore
3 min read

Being comfortable is a good thing, especially when you start a new job.

You've got to know your colleagues, you've found your way around the office or if you're working remote, the company intranet. You can quickly find documentation on Confluence and know how to find Jira tickets, and you've finally found your stride with your work. Every day you make a significant impact in your role.

After a while you can easily drift towards the familiar daily tasks. The exciting can quickly become mundane. Maybe a restructure has left you drifting away from what you loved about your role. Perhaps there are few opportunities to grow within your team or department. Often you end up feeling like you're working hard each day but without making any impact by the end of the week. You feel like you've stagnated.

Sometimes it's easy to do nothing as you've become too comfortable.

If you've been doing the same role for the past few years, it's easy to feel like you're stuck. You might have reached your career goals, but you've become comfortable with the status quo and don't feel that you can reach outside of your comfort zone.

Feeling stuck like this can often lead to a sense of dissatisfaction. Everything that you do can seem too easy and you're no longer learning anything new. You can do one of two things if this happens. You can sit back and stay comfortable, or you can challenge yourself by expanding your role or asking for more.

Try to kick-start a change in what you do. Reach out to people outside of your immediate network and see if you can help other teams. Embrace a change in your day-to-day work to find a new challenge.

Doing the same thing every week means that you're missing out on your personal and professional growth. Doing the same work repeatedly means you'll potentially miss other opportunities to learn something new.

If you're feeling unchallenged in your work, it could be time to look at making changes to your routine and finding other areas in which you can grow. If you're a software developer who mainly writes code each day, now could be the time to look at mentoring less experienced developers. At my current job, I looked to grow my career and decided to gain confidence in public speaking. I knew this was one of the keys to unlocking a wider network of people I could help and who could potentially help me. This definitely helped to challenge myself and pushed me further in my career. It felt uncomfortable at the time, but that was a good thing.

If you're not feeling challenged each day, you need to determine what would challenge you. Is it a need to take more responsibility? Do you want to learn a different skill or aspect to your current role? Only you can define what will make you feel uncomfortably challenged.

Reach out to your peers or manager and ask for more responsibility. If you're a developer then maybe you could look at learning a new framework or programming language. If you're a team lead or engineering manager then look for opportunities to be a force multiplier for your team or external teams.

Ultimately, if you're feeling too comfortable in your current role, and you can't find the challenges within your company, it may be time to look elsewhere.

It's a difficult decision to look for a new role but sometimes a fresh start can help to recharge your batteries. A new role is always a new challenge and it can often help to redefine your role and responsibilities. Making impactful change in a new role is always a great way to learn more and to grow your career.

So stop and think about where you are now. Are you too comfortable in what you're doing? Is it time to make a change?

Don't repeat your years.

Don't play your job on easy mode.

Find chances to change what you do and help yourself to grow.

Avoid becoming too comfortable.

Now might be the time to make the change that you need.

Marc Littlemore avatar

I'm Marc Littlemore.

I’m a Senior Software Engineering Manager who works with high performing development teams and loves to help to grow other software leaders and engineers.


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