Written by Rinesa - 3 Minutes reading time

How to avoid career autopilot and unlock your potential

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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.

Career Cruising

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.

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:


Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and get focused. It can also help you reduce stress and anxiety.


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.

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.

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.

Ready to take control of your career and avoid getting stuck in autopilot mode? At QTC Recruitment, we believe in empowering professionals in the Life Science industry to unlock their full potential. If you're seeking a career change or looking to make a strategic move, check out how you can be helped here.

Also published on Forbes.com

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