Career Tip: Say Goodbye to Your Comfort Zone

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“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Fact: Remaining in your comfort zone for too long can stunt your career growth

Your mindset is your collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape how you interpret and experience the world. Your mindset can predict your success in life.

  • A fixed mindset keeps us trapped by fear and a growth mindset expands what we believe is possible.
  • A fixed mindset focuses on limitations and restrictions while a growth mindset focuses on newness and adaptability.
  • A fixed mindset values abilities and results and a growth mindset values effort and process.

Professionals with a growth mindset embrace challenges and feedback because they provide an avenue for growth and learning new ways of doing things.

Professionals with a growth mindset understand that comfort is the enemy of success and are therefore willing to abandon familiarity. Professionals with a fixed mindset cling to routine and predictability.

Not many years ago, millennials were berated for being disloyal job hoppers. Today we recognize that all jobs are temporary and continuous skills development and network building are essential to long-term career success. The days when hiring managers placed high value on staying in the same position in the same company for years and years are gone. If you have been in your same job or role for years without obvious growth, hiring managers wonder what is wrong with you. Promotion potential, professional development, and a strong professional network may require you to change jobs – and change jobs more frequently than you may have planned.

5 Ways to Foster a Growth Mindset and Leave Your Comfort Zone:

  1. Spend time in self-reflection – Identifying your goals, strengths and areas for improvement allows you to continually elevate and expand your options.
  2. Feel the fear and do it anyway – Fear is normal. Acknowledging your fears can take away their power. You build confidence every time you kick fear in the pants.
  3. Embrace your flaws and imperfections – No one is perfect. Grant yourself grace. Use your uniqueness and individuality as a launching pad.
  4. Take baby steps – Take small, continuous progressive steps until you are ready to take big leaps.  
  5. Become a life-long learner – Constantly develop new skills and engage in new hobbies and activities to enhance innovation and become more employability.

When you say goodbye to your comfort zone, you experience life with a sense of adventure, can leverage greater opportunities, have a deeper understanding of your desires and strengths, and can get out of the way of your own success.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a Career and Empowerment Strategist who helps high-performing women of color in management go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well paid, and appreciated. Through Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, she also helps businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain great employees. Nicki has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life she loves. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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