When you’ve been in the same job for a while, it can be all too easy to get into a really comfortable place. For some, it is exactly where they want to be, for others, it’s a frustrating situation to find themselves in. In the current economic climate, stability and security are more important than ever, so anything that has the potential to jeopardise this can be frightening. This fear can be exactly that which holds a person back from endeavouring to push onward with their career to move it to the next stage.
But why leave your comfort zone?
It is one of the best ways to re-awaken a lost lust for your working life. It’s a great way of testing yourself. There is little better than being terrified as to whether you can pull something off…and then doing it! When you’ve been in a comfort zone for too long, you have a tendency to forget just how good you can be.
It’s one of the most effective ways of progressing. ‘Comfort’ might sound good, but it’s a misnomer when it comes to your career. ‘Rut’ would serve as a better term. How do you get out of your comfort zone? The trick is to strike the right balance. Certainly, packing it all in tomorrow and figuring out the rest afterwards is the swiftest and most direct route out of your comfort zone, but we wouldn’t advise it. Sure, there have been plenty of examples of success stories that started that way, but there are also plenty of examples of it not going so well! The last thing you want to happen is to end up two steps back, so planning that one step forward is crucial.
So what do you do if you find yourself in that dreaded career comfort zone?
Find out why you’re comfortable – It may be that the work is too easy with little to no challenge. It may be that there is great security within the company or perhaps you’re just too scared to put yourself out there because it’s been so long since you last did. Figuring out the reason as to why you’re in a comfort zone is the first step to getting out of it. Be sure that the line of work you’re in is right for you – If it is, press onwards and upwards, if it isn’t, it’s back to the drawing board to figure out a new direction. This doesn’t have to mean a complete career change, it may be a slight deviation from what you currently do, but it will be the difference between wanting to progress and feeling obliged to progress.
Focus on a progress point – Visualising where you’d like to be can really help give you the boost you need to move on and hit your next career goals.
Find out what options you have – Ask your boss, friends, do some research online, and figure out a way of stepping out of your current comfort that doesn’t jeopardise your future. Perhaps taking on an extra responsibility at work can be exactly what you need. Maybe a new job, either within your current company, or with a new one, will be that which gives you that spark back. Comfort zones prevent you from striving to get the most out of your professional life. Rather than being a place to dwell, they should be used as indicators that you’ve reached the next stage of your career and need to start planning the next one!