27 Oct Get out of your comfort zone and advance your career
4 ways to challenge yourself and learn new skills
It’s easy to get stuck in a professional rut. You might feel comfortable in your current role, or you may be afraid of trying something new and failing. Either way, choosing to remain stagnant rather than challenging yourself can have a negative impact on your career moving forward.
If you want to grow as a professional, it’s important that you get out of your comfort zone and push yourself beyond your current capabilities on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean recklessly throwing yourself out there; rather, it means doing things that make you feel nervous and uncomfortable.
The benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone as a professional.
With that in mind, here are some tips for getting out of your comfort zone and growing as a professional in the process:
1. Be deliberate about your learning and development
At the core of all professional growth is learning and development. Find ways to increase your knowledge and skills on a regular basis and you’ll put yourself in a position to succeed both now and in the future.
You might find that you can’t do everything you want to do within your current role, but there are likely aspects of your job that you can focus on to help you improve your skills.
There are several ways you can learn and grow on a regular basis:
– Research the industry and your company: Learn as much as you can about the industry and your company to which you provide your services. This will help you to understand your role better and enable you to identify areas that need improvement.
– Sign up for professional training courses: Many companies offer courses and certification programs that you can take to further your skills. If you’re interested in pursuing a new career, you can also often take courses online to develop your knowledge.
– Find a mentor: Find a person who is successful in the field you want to work in and reach out to them to find out how they got to where they are. A mentor can help you with career advice, navigating your company and navigating life.
2. Take on a challenge you’re afraid of
Whether it’s public speaking, networking or another challenge that makes you feel nervous, take on an opportunity that scares you on a regular basis. This will force you to get outside of your comfort zone and push through your fears.
You may want to start small and work your way up to bigger challenges over time. For example, if you want to get better at networking, start by attending one networking event per month.
Over time, you’ll gain more confidence and be able to build relationships more easily.
3. Network with people in different roles
Part of getting out of your comfort zone means networking with individuals in different roles than your own. It’s easy to get stuck networking with people in your industry, so take time to talk to people in different fields.
This will help you to develop relationships that have the potential to help your career down the line. You never know who might be able to offer you a job or refer you for a promotion in the future.
When networking with people in different roles, it’s important that you don’t talk about your job. Instead, you want to learn more about them and their work so that the conversation is balanced. This will help you to develop connections that last over time.
4. Say no
Learn to say “no” when it comes to opportunities that don’t align with your goals.
There are many ways to get outside of your comfort zone, but some don’t necessarily bring long-term benefits. For example, saying “yes” to every new opportunity that comes your way and trying to take on too much can cause you to fail and potentially damage your reputation in the process.
When you feel overwhelmed, learn to say “no” to things that don’t align with your goals. This could involve declining social invitations that take away from your work time, declining invitations to attend networking events in favor of networking online, or declining work on projects that aren’t a good fit for your current skill set.
Getting out of your comfort zone is important because it forces you to challenge yourself and grow in new ways. This will make you a more well-rounded, interesting person, and it could lead to career advancement opportunities down the road.
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