6 Ways To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone At Work
A comfort zone is a place of safety that offers familiarity and comes with the guarantee that nothing bad can happen. It’s easy to stay in it for too long at work, just like it is in many other areas of our lives. While it may be the most appealing route to take, it can have unintended consequences.
Research shows that the place where productivity, growth, creativity and innovation happens is far away from comfort. While it may feel like you’re stepping into a zone of uncertainty and unpredictability, by challenging yourself, you’re also getting the chance to progress in your career and reach your true potential.
If you're tired of doing the same tasks repeatedly at work and crave challenge and mental stimulation, it’s time to get uncomfortable. This blog will provide you with six ways to spread your wings and grow as a professional in your career.
1. Ask for something new
Ask your manager for a new task that gets you thinking or acting differently. For example, can you get involved in a new company initiative, or ask to take on more responsibility on a team project to broaden the types of duties you carry out? Could you offer to train co-workers on a new process that you’re confident in? These are great ways to develop leadership and management skills and boost your confidence at work.
If you’re looking at branching out within your industry, see if you can get involved with a project taking place in a different department within your company. This gives you the opportunity to explore specialisms other than your own, which is great to add to your experience on your CV.
2. Switch up your daily routine in the workplace
Part of stepping outside your comfort zone at work is improving your social circle. Most employees are guilty of eating their lunch at the desk or socialising only with colleagues in their team or specific department. This prevents them from fully engaging with the company as they don’t get to know other employees across the business.
Switch up your daily routine. Eat your lunch in the kitchen or take a walk around other departments in the office to break the ice with employees you don’t know very well. It might be scary being the one to take the first step but the more you do it, the easier it’ll become. You’ll be able to build strong professional networks within the workplace and feel more involved within your organisation.
3. Address your fears
Much of the time, the reason why we turn down a job opportunity or avoid doing a specific task is that it requires us to face a fear. For example, a promotion may require you to speak in public or travel abroad, or a new project may involve using software you’re unfamiliar with.
The hard truth is we must face our fears to overcome them. Write down a list of barriers that are currently stopping you from taking the next step at work and seek out ways to help build up the confidence to break them. This could be signing up for a public speaking course, taking an online class, or asking a colleague to train you to use new software. Just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you can’t do it – don’t give up on yourself before even trying!
4. Take a risk
When faced with a decision at work, don’t always go for the safest choice. Sometimes you need to take a risk to see the results you want, and nine times out of ten it’s worth it.
For example, ignore the fact that you don’t have managerial experience to be the lead on a new project – just take the risk and go for it. It doesn’t matter if don’t succeed, it will expose you to new experiences and opportunities that will result in you eventually becoming a great leader.
Or, the next time you’re having a one-to-one with your manager, instead of accepting the raise they offer like you always do, negotiate a higher salary that you feel you deserve. This might feel scary but if you take the risk, the reward will be worth it!
5. Learn new technology
Almost every industry has been revolutionised by the digital era and advancements continue to change the way people work. The development of collaboration tools has altered the way we communicate with employees and changed how everyday processes are carried out.
Upgrading your tech skills will help you to become a more productive employee and will give you the confidence to take on tasks that require technology. This can be as simple as learning how to effectively use time management apps to sync your work calendar better, understanding collaboration tools more so you can communicate with your employees more efficiently, or taking an online course on how to use Excel to improve your analytical proficiency.
6. Find a new job
Getting a new job is probably one of the most obvious ways to escape your comfort zone at work. Maybe you’ve started to take more of an interest in the marketing side of your company’s product, or maybe your heart is yearning to switch industries completely. Either way, while it might seem daunting, it’s very common for people to change jobs no matter what stage they are in their career.
If your job doesn’t challenge you anymore, and the passion you once had for it has burnt out, it’s time to find a new one.
Growth doesn’t happen in comfort
The place where growth happens is miles away from our comfort zone. Continually taking steps that challenge you will develop the confidence and ability needed to effectively handle new tasks and approach situations that once scared you.
Always remember to embrace the unfamiliarity, nerves, and fear that come with stepping into the unknown – it’s how we progress and reach our potential!
Looking to take a step outside your comfort zone in your career? You’re in the right place. We’ve thousands of positions available in industries such as accountancy, human resources, marketing and digital, IT, and many more. Alternatively, you can search all our positions here, or register with us.