[SUNDAY FEATURE] You’re happy with your job. Why is that a problem?

Credit/Koren Shadmi

The assignments are fine, the colleagues great, the benefits terrific. But you’re not doing anything impressive, and you know it. Here’s how to keep your groove from turning into a rut.

By Rob Walker | The New York Times

Send your workplace conundrums to workologist@nytimes.com, including your name and contact information (even if you want it withheld). The Workologist is a guy with well-intentioned opinions, not a professional career adviser. Letters may be edited.

I work at a very large nonprofit in a creative role. I am paid well, with good benefits and absolutely fantastic colleagues. The general line of work is exactly what I want to be doing; specific assignments range from “eh” to enjoyable. There are enough fringe benefits to support personal growth (though I haven’t used them much).

That said: I’m in a niche role with pretty much zero possibility for vertical growth. I stay here largely because I have a great thing going. My creative body of work (my “portfolio”) has stagnated as a result. It isn’t bad, just increasingly unremarkable. And that’s been a constant ache in the back of my mind for at least three years now.

But the truth of the matter is that I’m not really motivated to leave or to bolster my portfolio on the side. I’m happily content saving money, investing in my future and putting my energy into social and personal matters. And yet I fear my career is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode in my face. How do I reconcile?


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September 2018