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I don’t want to be comfortable

June 30, 2010

I am 12 years into my career and it amazes me at the volume of people who I have worked with, for, or discussed with friends, who are simply working comfortably.

I’m not talking about investment bankers, real estate gurus, or successful entrepreneurs who in their mid-30s are just socking money away until retirement. No, I am talking about the person who doesn’t try too hard and yet does just enough to stay employed. This could be someone who has on gold handcuffs at their current job and doesn’t want to rock the boat or someone who simply knows it is easier to talk a big game, than to play one.

Why do I care? Why should I care? Because these people can become gatekeepers to success, hurdles to new ideas, and killers of change. Everyone is different and that is good and we do need people who are content with filling jobs, careers, and positions at all levels. As a matter of fact, I just recently had lunch downtown and a tenured woman who had been on wait staff since the establishment was open, provided great customer service and even humor. She was happy she did what she did, but she wasn’t comfortable. You could tell she took her job seriously and obviously years of experience made her excel.

I am talking about people who are in leadership positions and now can’t manage, direct, or even initiate themselves out of a wet paper sack. I have no doubt at one point they did try and they did want more, but now have been beaten down into a “I’d rather be fishing” bumper sticker. If you find yourself reading this and thinking “that is me” that is ok. Just get the hell out of the way. Acknowledge your situation and respect that others want to get the most out of themselves, their careers, and their companies.

I don’t ever want to be comfortable in my career from that standpoint. I want that burlap underwear type of career where I am constantly challenged, always learning, and staying well ahead of the curve.

Do you?

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