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Complacency Derailing your Career

ADM S Osman

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Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Assistant Special Agent in Charge


Dictionary.com's Definition of complacency is “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.”

If you assume that the status quo will remain in place, you are setting yourself up to be blindsided. If you stay in the safety of your complacency without a notion as to what’s happening in the community or in your professional working industry, your safety zone can become a danger zone overnight. Changes are occurring all around you that can make your skills and competencies obsolete. Potential newcomers and downsizing can be potential landmines unless you are tapped into the politics of the clan and listening carefully to the warning signs that change is about to happen.

Here are five signs that your complacency can derail you.

You are no longer striving to do your best. 

In this highly competitive clan, where everyone wants a higher rank over you, there are many people who would love your rank and position. If you have been doing just enough to get by, beware. Newcomers will see that and those who see opportunity will easily make one to surpass you. You must continue to add value and meet and exceed expectations to keep your job but also excel and progress. 


You are not staying up to date in your duties and responsibilities.

When was the last time you read ONI's documents or assisted in an ONI project or attended a command-level meeting? Do you regularly converse with command and enlisted alike in feedback on what you do? It is easy to lose your credibility overnight. The next new member on your team can show up with an excellent background and want your job. While ranks thwart that, responsibilities cannot and if he/she is ambitious leadership can take note of it.


You are not seeking or taking advantage of new opportunities.

If you don’t seek or take advantage of opportunities your skills become stale. Doing the same thing over and over gets boring. You remain invisible. Key leaders and decision makers don’t know the value that you contribute. How will you be able to position yourself if the clan reorganizes or changes in any way? Look for opportunities to work on new projects and maintain your credibility, expand your skill set, and increase your exposure across the company.


You are not maintaining or building your network of contacts.

If you don't build relationships in ONI and stay tuned to what's happening or about to happen, you won't be privy to critical information that can influence your position. ONI itself is an intrinsic network designed to assist those in networking out of their comfort zone and discuss topics naturally uncommon. Espionage and counter-intelligence, the form and function of the security clearances with classification of documents create a hierarchy that you will not progress in unless you have that relationship with someone in higher clearance, higher access and in positions of political power. 


You don’t risk sharing your opinion or ideas.

Fear of upsetting the status quo or potentially disagreeing with your leader or colleagues can hold you back from speaking up. If you don’t take the risk to voice your opinion, people assume you have none. Your credibility evaporates over time. You don’t have the respect of your colleagues or supervisor. It’s not important to agree with everyone all the time. It’s not important to be liked as much as it is being perceived as someone who contributes value and has the strength of their voice.

While we all joke to say that this is just a clan we want to practice real world exercises and understanding our respective industries corporate atmospheres. We see to it that ONI's internal structure is competitive and not easy with many hurdles created to test people. If you read one of these signs and know that you are in danger of sabotaging your career due to complacency. Acknowledge it and adapt, this is a safe place for mistakes should you make any and forgiveness is fair. Don't give up on ONI and resign to quit altogether as you will continue to bring complacency elsewhere and ruin someone else's experience to fun. We understand that ONI isn't for everyone, the higher you scale in rank the faster the environment is paced where the necessity of learning new skills, new technologies, and new processes is critical to both maintaining your current status and/or moving ahead.

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