It's been said a million different ways, but complacency is the enemy of success. It’s one thing to be proficient and competent in your role; it’s another if that’s as far as you push it. The comfort zone is essentially a mental construct. Its sole purpose is making you feel comfortable - you are surrounded with familiar people and tasks - and keeping out the things that make you uncomfortable. However, it is possible that, by staying in your comfort zone, you’re actually serving as a detriment to others. Not to mention yourself.
Personal growth is a hallmark of self realization, and it doesn’t happen without some elements of discomfort. As we grow, we need new challenges and the opportunities that come from overcoming those challenges. This is career growth in a nutshell.
Still not convinced that the comfort zone is actually not so comfortable? Here are three ways in which sticking in your comfort zone is killing your career:
1. Your Skillset is Growing Stagnant.
They say that the majority of grade school kids will eventually have jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. As technology advances and touches on every form of work, many jobs are going to change form or even disappear.No sector is safe. While you might have a job now, you might not in 10 years. Taking the time to stay on top of current trends and learning new skills will keep your mind sharp and make you competitive in the market.
2. You’re Missing Out on Opportunities.
It’s like convincing a kid to try broccoli: how do you know you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it? Staying in your comfort zone is the equivalent to clamping your mouth shut: not trying anything new just makes you look a little silly, a little immature, and a little ignorant. Who knows? Maybe that random, one-off project that no one else wants at work could be your new niche.
3. Your Resume Might be Suffering.
There was a time, not so long ago, when spending decades in the same job, doing the same thing, was a respectable quality. However, nowadays, a resume with a one job for multiple years tells potential employers that you might not be adaptable, or creative, or able to execute on new ideas.
The hardest part is taking the first step. But talk to anyone who had to overcome something tough, and chances are they’ll tell you that it made them better, stronger, and maybe even happier in the long run. Regardless, shaking up the monotony of your routine will refresh your life. Who knows, maybe just a few changes will help revitalize your career.
How has stepping outside the comfort zone changed your career?