Why Leave Your Comfort Zone?

Written By Andrew Slade

Taking calculated risks is a part of life, but when it comes to our career, why are people so reluctant to take risks? Truth be told, there are all sorts of complicated financial and behavioral reasons as to why people shy away from the unknown for the known, even when a change might be beneficial in the long run. Be that as it may, not taking risks can actually be the riskiest career move of them all. Here are 4 steps to leaving your comfort zone for smarter career actions.

Identify your comfort zone. Knowing your comfort zone will help reveal areas in which you aren’t so comfortable -- areas you can potentially improve upon and explore. They can be anything from your working habits, relationships with colleagues, or even your willingness to explore a career change. Perhaps one of the greatest barriers people face is the perception that any career risk has to be all or nothing… but that’s not the case!

Know your potential. What are you most uncomfortable doing and how could overcoming these trepidations open new career opportunities? Break down your career problems into small actions and recognize your potential. Write these things down and let them serve as motivation for what you can accomplish.

Gradually leave your comfort zone. The best way to start is with small, day-to-day tasks. For example, take a different route to work, change an eating habit, or try a new workout. Get comfortable with change and start exposing yourself to the unexpected. Gradually swap these daily tasks for weekly work challenges that might normally make you uncomfortable. Eventually transition these weekly challenges into career goals, and open yourself to opportunities that will allow you to accomplish these goals.

Build your network. The connections we rely on in a stable, steady job are rarely the ones that open new doors. This is why it’s so important to build your network because more times than not it’s your professional network that presents you with new career opportunities. So build your network and start taking some smart risks. You’ll be a better and happier person for it!