Taking Risks for Career Growth: When and How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Taking Risks for Career Growth: When and How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

‘The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.’ These are famous words that the chairman and CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke to inspire many.

This quote is just one example that highlights the importance of taking risks by stepping out of comfort zones as companies and entire business models change. AI, tech integration, automation, and similar improvements are changing the dynamics, forcing employees and employers to step out of their comfort zones to keep up with evolution.

Taking risks for career growth can be challenging and frightening. Yet, it is a necessary step that could lead to fruitful rewards in the long run. So when is the right time to step out of the career comfort zone? The information below answers this and related questions on taking risks for career growth. 

What is the Career Comfort Zone?

A career comfort zone is often a set of familiar routines, tasks, and situations that a worker is familiar with professionally. It is called a comfort zone because the routines and situations give the individual a sense of security and predictability. Workers get into the career comfort zone through the following ways:

  • Daily Work Tasks. Employees and managers tend to settle into specific roles and tasks that they are comfortable with. They stick to familiar administrative duties and get used to the everyday routine. 
  • Company or Industry. Staying in the same company or industry for an extended time can also trigger the career comfort zone since it limits exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences. 
  • No Networking. Sticking to a familiar network of colleagues and professionals can also create a career comfort zone. 
  • Title or Position. Many workers become attached to their job positions and titles, thus limiting their willingness to explore new roles and responsibilities. 
  • Avoiding Learning and Skill Development. Finally, avoiding learning and skill development in the workplace can keep workers in a comfort zone since it avoids challenges and reluctance to new technologies.   

The career comfort zone tricks employees and managers into believing everything is okay. However, the lack of challenge, change, and growth is a short-term illusion that affects the employee’s career.

Spending too much time in a specific role or company with no improvement or growth raises red flags among employers. It translates as an incapability to adapt and deal with change.

In addition, failing to adapt to the change means potentially being left behind as the world moves forward. In short, it is a risk to employment and career growth. On the other hand, taking a risk helps to further careers

Signs That It’s Time To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

  • The paycheck has stayed the same for years. Employees or managers who have been working year after year, meeting all expectations and ensuring tasks end correctly, need to step out of their comfort zone.
  • A network that is not expanding. Workers with the same network of colleagues and professionals in the industry as they did a few years ago should consider expanding.
  • Goals are misaligned. Employees should examine their career goals and determine if they are objectives attached for the sake of the work or something they actually care about. 
  • Staying just to stay. Employees should ask themselves why they stay at their workplace or in the same routine. If a worker runs on autopilot with no real reason for staying, they should consider stepping out of their routine. 
  • No new lessons. The key to growth is learning, and if a role or workplace no longer provides such opportunities, they should consider moving. 
  • Boredom that shows. If an employee is bored at work, they should ask themselves why. Is the boredom a result of a less challenging role? Or is it because there are no opportunities for growth? These are all valid reasons to step out of a comfort zone. 

Effective Tips for Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Career and Goal Assessment 

When workers are stuck in a rut, they might have the wrong career or goals. Therefore, employees should consider a career assessment before leaving their comfort zone.

There are many career assessment tests workers can take online. In addition, employees should assess their objectives regarding work. They should consider what goals they want to achieve in terms of employment and a career.  

Skill Development and Learning

With technology and the internet evolving, there is always something new to learn. Therefore, employees should consider learning new skills to step out of their comfort zone. Learning new skills presents new challenges and experiences. In addition, learning new skills could mean scaling up in the company or finding a new role. 

Ask for More

Employees who have been in the same role for a few years but are comfortable in the company should consider scaling up by taking on more responsibility or asking for a promotion.

Asking for more responsibility opens up a new world of challenges and tasks that could help workers sharpen their skills while learning new ones. In addition, a promotion could trigger personal growth, taking the employee out of their comfort zone. 

Challenge Existing Beliefs

Challenging existing beliefs is the most important part of taking risks by stepping out of a career comfort zone. Doing so can help a worker learn new beliefs and value differences. In addition, it can help them discover ways to improve their mindset, leading to change that triggers growth. 

Join Forces

Finally, declaring an intent to get out of a comfort zone can help gain support from coworkers. Teams can join forces as accountability partners, helping each other stick to a career growth path. In addition, speaking out can help identify professional mentors who can offer guidance on stepping out of the comfort zone for career growth. 

Take the Risk: Get Out of Your Zone

With its familiar routines and the illusion of security, the career comfort zone can hold workers back from reaching their true potential. Recognizing the signs that it’s time to take the risk is the first step towards transformation.

As employees contemplate their career paths, they should remember that taking risks is necessary in the ever-changing world. So, take that leap today by letting Workpay’s informative blogs help you navigate career growth.