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Spring is here - but let's not get complacent

Posted on 25/03/2021
by Nick Boulton

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Things are looking up. I don’t want to tempt fate, but there’s a good feeling around.

Job numbers are growing, sales are on the increase, candidates are more open to moves and the vaccination programme is going strong (well, for the moment, that is…).

Spring is here, summer is on its way and it's ‘T’ minus 19 days until I can sit in a beer garden and utter those unforgettable words….

”A pint of lager please” - Any lager as long as it’s cold, from a draught and in a pint glass!

But with all this optimism, expectation and all roads pointing in one direction, is there a danger a little complacency starts to creep in?

After so long in lockdown, I can’t help but feel there is a danger we take our foot off the pedal. It’s like we have had a weight lifted off our shoulders, it’s the same feeling when you finally accomplish a tough task or long term goal. It’s human nature to sit back and take a breather. After all, we deserve a little downtime or break, right?

Wrong!

Complacency can kill your business and your career. No matter how hard you’ve worked to survive lockdown and the huge impact it’s had on businesses, no matter how successful you’ve been in the past, companies and individuals should be living by one tenet:

“What have you achieved most recently?”

Past accomplishments remain important but they don’t even compare to what you are doing now – If you are doing very little, you’ll eventually starve yourself out of a career, customers and ultimately success. Complacency is the number one career killer, and yet, it’s easy to fall into.

12 months of struggle doesn’t get erased by a couple of months of success or increased revenue. There will be more pain to come at some point as we reconcile who has to “pay” for this pandemic, so now is not the time to sit back.

How do you avoid complacency without burning yourself out or increasing your stress levels?

  1. Create a plan: Work with your manager or business partners to establish a road map to get you from where you are to where you want to be, be sure to include a timeline so you’re all on the same page and don’t make excuses for not sticking to it.

  2. Be a team player: Never has it been more important to look out for each other and make sure we work as a collective. Just because you’ve hit targets doesn’t mean everyone in your team or company has. See if you can help, add value, support a colleague, done on a continuous base gets you noticed and brings its rewards. Ultimately it speeds up good results and creates a form of collective success that becomes infectious.

  3. Scare yourself a little: Might sound strange, but using this technique can actually kick yourself into gear or stop yourself from being complacent. It can also give you the reality check you might need, especially with unemployment figures predicted to sore as the furlough scheme ends. Make yourself indispensable!

  4. Keep setting goals: Goal setting is one of the most important contributors in maintaining peak perforce, whether you are an athlete, a business owner or striving to be successful at work. There is always something new to learn or do – Once hit, celebrate, take a deep breath and set another or focus on another organisational problem to solve.

  5. Reach for the sky: Even if you have achieved your targets for the week, month or quarter, there is no reason to stop working. If you really want to stave off complacency and keep striving to improve, it’s key to set a few “impossible long-term goals”. Don’t wait to be set these by your manager or business. Set them yourself, ones you can chip away at and even if you finish a few steps short of, it gives you something else to aim for.

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