Unlocking Your Professional Potential: How To Avoid Career Autopilot
It's easy to fall into the trap of putting your career on autopilot. You get into a routine, and before you know it, you're coasting along, doing the same thing day after day. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, being "on autopilot" refers to performing a task without conscious thought or exertion. People often spend hours […]
It's easy to fall into the trap of putting your career on autopilot. You get into a routine, and before you know it, you're coasting along, doing the same thing day after day.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, being "on autopilot" refers to performing a task without conscious thought or exertion. People often spend hours of their days on autopilot. Imagine the possibilities if this time were allocated toward honing a skill or planning a career advancement strategy. Time is a valuable commodity, and I believe that this is a prevalent issue.
The reality is, when you're not intentional about your career, you're not in control. You're simply going along for the ride, and you may end up somewhere you don't want to be. According to 2022 survey data from Gallup, only 32% of American employees are engaged at work.
When you put your career on autopilot, you're not actively seeking new opportunities or challenges. This can be dangerous for a couple of reasons:
• You're not growing: This means you're not developing new skills or expanding your knowledge base, which can make you less competitive in the job market.
• You're not taking risks: When you're not intentional about your career, you're not taking risks. This means you may miss out on opportunities that could have been a great fit for you.
• You're complacent: Complacency is a dangerous place to be, especially when it comes to your career. You're not actively seeking new opportunities or challenges when you're complacent.
Be Intentional With Your Career
It's important to remember that if you're not intentional or active in the market, you risk being left behind. The idea is to not just wake up and surf on autopilot but to always be exploring new risks and challenges. By actively working on yourself, opportunities will pop up.
For example, one of my clients was promoted to a director-level position as a result of their newfound courage to embrace change and make choices that benefit their career. They realized that to get to the next level, they needed to start thinking and acting like a director, being a proactive problem-solver and developing ways to deal with situations using their own knowledge and self-awareness. This shift in mindset allowed them to stand up and take charge, creating action plans to move the business forward, which resulted in their promotion.
So be sure to stay curious and open-minded, always pushing yourself to try new things and take on new challenges.
Here are five things high-performing executives do to stay focused and intentional:
If you've been cruising on autopilot, you can use mindfulness to break out of that habit and become more intentional with your actions. Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment. When you're mindful, you're able to focus on the task at hand and make better decisions.
3. Power Of The Pause
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your career is to take a step back and evaluate where you're at.
Volunteering is a great way to expand your network and develop new skills. It's also a great way to give back to your community and make a difference in the lives of others.
5. Mindset Shifting
Sometimes, all it takes to get your career out of autopilot is a shift in mindset. Instead of seeing your job as something you have to do, try to see it as an opportunity to learn.
Putting your career on autopilot can be dangerous. It can lead to complacency, career stagnation and a lack of control over your professional life. By adopting new habits such as meditation, mindfulness and volunteering, you can take control of your career and achieve your goals. So if you're ready to get your job out of autopilot, start by taking small steps today.
Article written by: Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family.
Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.