Why Complacency Can Kill a Finance Career


You’re comfortable in your career. Each day is the same and you don’t feel any pressure.  You enjoy your job, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Unless there is.

If your feeling of comfort is actually complacency, it’s a different story. Complacency is defined as, “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often unaware of some potential danger.” If the status quo remains in place and nothing changes, it’s possible that you’ll be fine. But in the fast-paced world of accounting and finance, where companies merge or are acquired, complacency can derail a promising finance career.

Here are signs that you’ve grown complacent.

Just Enough to Get By
You’re doing just enough to get by. But in a world where work ethic matters, and going the extra mile is noted, you make yourself vulnerable to downsizing. 

Not Learning Anymore
You used to be an IFRS whiz and the go to person for systems questions, but not anymore. You haven’t kept your skill set sharp and you’ve stopped learning. And yet, the number one way to avoid being impacted by downsizing is to be the resident specialist in something. 

Not Building Your Network
It’s likely your next opportunity to advance your finance career will come from your network. Have you stopped going to industry events, attending company dinners or after-work get-togethers? Are you inactive on LinkedIn and not using it to build your professional brand? Make it a point to reach out to your existing network and to add some new connections. 

No Mentor
A mentor can be your advocate. They can also be a sounding board and give you timely advice to help you navigate office politics, or your next career step. If you don’t have a mentor, regardless of your level, consider who might be the person that could be a difference maker for you.

ReadHow to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor” for tips on identifying and landing a great mentor.

Goal Setting
When was the last time you set a professional goal and created a plan to achieve it? If the answer is 2009, complacency has taken root. 

Resource: For tips on career planning as an accountant or finance person, read “Tips from Accounting Recruiters – Career Planning”.

Not Contributing During Meetings 
Not contributing during meetings can impact your credibility and perceived value. Speak up for what you believe in. Keep your tone respectful, yet assertive. If you think there is a process, for example, that is inefficient, it’s not unreasonable to highlight it and present potential solutions. Better yet, volunteer to take the lead on re-engineering it.

Key Takeaways
There’s nothing wrong with feeling content in your accounting or finance career. There is, however, danger in feeling complacent. If you’ve stopped growing in your role and can’t remember the last time you set a career goal and made a plan to achieve it, complacency has taken root. If you’re doing just enough to get by and aren’t contributing during meetings it’s time to re-evaluate your day-to-day work life. Fundamentally, complacency can make us vulnerable to downsizing. Don’t sabotage your career by getting a little too comfortable.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

More from Clarity