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Have You Settled for "Good Enough" in Your Career?

Have you ever found yourself settling for less than you deserved in your career? How did you overcome the temptation to stay comfortable? Share your experiences. 👀

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Top comments (3)

manchicken profile image
Mike Stemle

(Rant warning)

To be frank, I see nothing at all wrong with people wanting to be comfortable in their job. One of my biggest concerns with how we do labor and economy is this idea that we have to keep pushing, keep growing, never stopping. This type of drive can be helpful for some, but it is toxic overall and causes a great deal of harm.

The drive to indefinitely grow doesn’t just destroy relationships and lead some to an early grave (sometimes by suicide), but it’s just unsustainable. The truth of the matter is that your life encompasses so much, and at the end of the day work is mostly about making value for the company, very little of which you will see yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-ambition, and in have no rebukes for people who work for what they want—I am among them.

At the end of the day, though, if someone hires someone to do a job that they do well that’s a success. If that new hire doesn’t want a promotion, doesn’t care about the corporate ladder and they keep adding the value that they agreed to add, I don’t see a problem.

The corporate ladder is what settling looks like. Following the toxic drive of capitalism to your grave is settling for the life that our ruling class has told us we should want. I’d much rather define my own life rather than gaging my own success by my relative position on an org chart.

My ambition is to make the world better as best I can, not to settle for making more money for my employer.

thumbone profile image
Bernd Wechner • Edited

I find the question a little twisted.

Have You Settled for "Good Enough" in Your Career?

Why yes, I am champion of "good enough". One of the first run ins I had with one employer was use of just that term. They took it as an insult, and I in turn discussed with them what the term means, it means good enough. If you are looking for more you are literally wasting time, and energy and money more often than not. The perfectionist is rarely happy or rich.

Of course the standards of "enough" differ, and I have rather high standards, as do many successful people, but when comparing standards there is no need for an assault upon the very term "good enough". If it is good enough it is good enough that is all.

"Have you ever found yourself settling for less than you deserved in your career?"

I'm not sure what that means even. Of course, everyone feels that some time, I challenge anyone to claim otherwise (and we'll admire the sparkle on that golden platter that was handed to you while suspecting you're not fully honest with us). Life is about compromises. Every relationship is about compromises. And that invariably means at some time or other, the compromise touches your expectations and measures of self worth.

The question becomes, what to do? Generally I see two broad time frames for that question. The here and now as the compromise hits home and longer term. In the here and now I'd counsel reflection, a skill by which you can turn you cognitive awareness to your emotional state. If feeling any of those emotions (and they have a few names) in which your heart rate is rising, you feel an tingling sensation, and are maybe feeling a sweat coming on, say nothing, and keep calm - these are all emotions that can burn bridges if let loose, breath deeply and focus on pros and cons. In the longer term consider what's bothering me, find an objective case to put to myself on the matter, and if deemed worth the time, trouble and risk commence a discussion on matter with stakeholders.

"How did you overcome the temptation to stay comfortable?"

Seems an unrelated question to me. I've never felt that temptation myself, have always harboured the notion the comfort is cancer. I don't actually set out to be uncomfortable for discomforts sake, but am fully aware that discomfort is an essential part of growth, of progress and of general health and wellbeing. Our bodies and minds evolved in a context of discomfort management and without that stimulus they become lazy, tired, fat, weak, and sickly ... I'll go so far as to suggest that the a good portion of modern health complaints in the physical and mental health arenas are the direct consequence of an addiction to comfort and insufficient discomfort.

siddhantkcode profile image
Siddhant Khare

Yes, I have faced this situation. To overcome it, I:

  1. Reflected on Goals: Assessed if my current role aligned with my long-term aspirations.
  2. Set Clear Goals: Defined what I wanted to achieve and the skills I needed to develop.
  3. Sought New Challenges: Took on challenging projects and explored new technologies.
  4. Continued Learning: Committed to professional development through courses and workshops.
  5. Networked: Connected with professionals for advice and insights.
  6. Took Calculated Risks: Made strategic moves to pursue more rewarding opportunities.

And, acceptance played a major role too. Accepting that staying comfortable was holding me back was crucial. Embracing change and uncertainty allowed me to pursue growth opportunities and align my career with my true potential.