You’d be lying to yourself if you said there’s never been a day you walked into work and thought to yourself, “I don’t love this job, but it’s fine for now.” You might also think that if you don’t completely hate your gig, you actually kind of like it.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with being content with what you do for a living, but if you’re feeling sort of “meh” about your current job, you’re probably making some mistakes that might be costing you a position you love down the line.
For example, here are a few of the most common errors people who are sort-of-kind-of OK with their jobs make.
1. You Turn Down Networking Opportunities Too Quickly
Some of you might be skittish about rocking the boat at your current company. And there might be a few of you who just can’t find the motivation to meet new people outside of working hours.
But in either case, it’s surprisingly common for folks who are OK with their current roles to turn down opportunities. “There’s no point,” you might say, “Why would I go out of my way to meet someone for coffee when I’m not looking?”
However, there are two things you need to remember. First, no matter what anyone tells you, networking meetings don’t have to go on and on forever. But more importantly, you might be turning down a chance to hear about a more exciting job at a company you’ve always wanted to join.
No guarantees, of course. But if you keep turning down your contact’s invitations for coffee, you’re only stunting your own career growth.
2. You’re Not Looking Around at What Else Might be Out There
I’m going to let you in on what my life was like a few years ago when I felt that my job was not great, but fine for that period of my life. (Spoiler: It’s not very exciting). I’d go to work, get through my to-do list, order dinner from the cafe around the corner from my apartment, and then go to bed at a not-so-reasonable hour. That was it.
And for a while, I thought I could stay satisfied sticking to that dull routine for a few years. The only problem with that thinking was that it would mean I’d be sticking to that monotonous routine for a few years. And even though I liked the people I worked with, that was an incredibly sobering thought.
But, for many individuals who are OK with their current job, that’s an easy (and dangerous) trap to fall into. I’m not suggesting that you throw yourself into an intense job search this second, but if you’re not keeping tabs on what else might be available, you might spend way too much time feeling just “meh” about how your career is going.
READY TO GO FROM A “MEH” JOB TO ONE YOU ACTUALLY LOVE?
The only good answer to that is, “Yes, of course!”
3. You’re Getting Down on Yourself Way Too Easily
OK, truth time. How often do you thank your lucky stars for the fact that you’re at least somewhat satisfied with your job because you don’t think you could do much better? I know the feeling all too well and believe me when I say I also understand how much it sucks.
Why risk a decent salary and a routine you’re somewhat comfortable with, especially if it means applying for (and possibly getting rejected for) different jobs, right? While it’s understandable to feel this way, you have much more to lose by not putting yourself out there for your dream job than you do by staying silent and trudging on in your current gig.
It’s scary, full of uncertainty, and could lead to what feels like a never-ending search. But even if your efforts don’t pay immediate dividends, you are not just “good enough.” If you’re not completely happy with what you’re doing, you owe it to yourself to see if a more exciting company agrees with me about what you bring to the table.
Hey, I get it. If life at work is comfortable enough for you, why would you tempt fate by starting to look elsewhere? And speaking of the job search, when has that ever been fun for anyone, right? However, as someone who’s taken a few risks and finally landed at a place I love, I know that it’s ultimately worth the risk. Whether it’s because you lack the motivation or confidence in yourself to find something better, trust me—if I can do it, anyone can—and should.
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy or follow his blog.More from this Author