Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone In Your Career

When can you conclude that you have reached your comfort zone in your career? If you feel that you are getting your tasks done not only effectively but smoothly as well, if there is no fanfare in the meetings you conduct, if you meet the milestones without any issues and if you do not encounter any pressure situation in your operations, you can construe that you are working on autopilot. This also means that you are in a comfort zone in your career. 

But experts say that this is dangerous. In fact, this is not an ideal situation at all because this shows that you have started stagnating. You may start feeling complacent very soon and may find your workplace boring. Therefore, risks of your performance beginning to waiver may increase.

The main problem is you may not be able to propel your personal growth. Reaching the next levels of personal growth should involve challenges and since you are not facing any of them, you may not have the right opportunities that will take you to the next levels.

Unlike a few people who are hard-wired to experiment or take risks, you may be afraid of facing risks. But you must make a big leap if you want to have significant personal growth in your career

The best way to come out of the comfort zone in your career is to foresee and avoid getting into such a situation. But if you can not avoid it, you should assess the situation properly and make efforts for getting out. If you delay taking action, it may be hard for you to avoid your career stagnation.

Here is the checklist that may help you find out if you have entered into a comfort zone in your career. Ask the following questions to yourself:

1. Am I feeling bored?
2. Are possibilities to progress drying up?
3. Am I being ignored when new responsibilities, projects and opportunities come up?
4. Am I not facing pressure-like situations in my current role? 
5. Is there no necessity to prove myself? 

If 'yes' is the answer to the above questions, you can pretty well construe that you have entered into a comfort zone in your career. You should immediately focus on taking suitable actions.

How do you start?

1. Develop a plan because if you have an outline, you will be able to identify the opportunities that may help you move on to the next steps. 

2. Seek out a mentor. There may be many people whom you have been admiring. If you choose the right mentor, you can learn from him or her. The mentor may give you a lot of advice also. In fact, studying the career road-maps of such mentors may itself teach a number of invaluable lessons. You may get inspired also.

3. Keep track of all the innovations that are happening in the industry in which you are working. A study of the job market of the industry will help you identify the opportunities using which you can plug the gaps you may find. Another benefit of studying the job market is you can compare your resume with what is required in the field. You can acquire new skills or fine-tune your current capabilities so as to suit the current requirements of the job market.

4. Make the right decision. This means you should not commit the mistake of jumping on to a job that is only slightly different from your current job. At the same time, there is no necessity for a 180-degree turn in your career. The best suggestion is you need not change all the variables. You can change the industry in which you can carry out the same functions or there can be changes in the job functions in the same industry or company.

The intention is you should look for the right opportunities that may push you towards higher levels of decision-making, thinking or performance. Experts opine that humans can accomplish great feats when they face pressure situations. When you feel the pressure of proving yourself, you will be able to tap the mental energy you do not know you possess.

5. Do not allow your team to enter into a comfort zone

In addition to not permitting yourself to enter your comfort zone, you must prevent your team also from this danger. Otherwise, the performance of the entire team may suffer. As a leader, it is your duty to ensure that your team members are also groomed to become achievers. Therefore, you should not allow them to become complacent and stagnate.

If you are always on the look-out for opportunities that may help your team members play various new roles or new functions, they can also have personal growth in their career. Ultimately, you will also get unstuck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Road to Your Career Success

Many people find themselves at career crossroads and there may be a number of reasons for this. They may not be getting as much income as they used to get, they may not like the repetitive work they are doing and so on. So, they have reached a point in their career where they need to make changes. 

If you are one among this group, you should recall what you planned to become when you were young. Of course, things might not have happened as you wished but you should not have regrets because you may have learned many things in your career path. But since you need to make a change, you can use the following tips so you can be on the right road that may take you to success.

1. It was Jack Sparrow who said that whatever plans you had made about your career were sheer guidelines and were not rules. This means you need not bind yourself to a single path in your life. You can change it any time. If you had all along been a technical person, you can now plan to write fictions. Similarly, if you have been a teacher till now, you can now become an artist. Never forget that Winston Churchill, the shrewd politician, got his Nobel Prize for Literature.

2. Experts advise that mentors can be invaluable in putting you in the right career path. This suggestion holds good regardless of the age at which you decide to change your career. Mentors can help you with new ideas. They will help you look at things with a new perspective so you may decide to develop a few new skills. They may help you in overcoming your weaknesses and developing your strengths.

Mentors can be of great value even if you are doing your business. They can help you in the growth of your business by improving your leadership qualities. You can use such mentors for coaching your managers and improving the morale of your staff so they will love to work in your company.

3. When you change your career, you must first learn to like what you intend to do. You are not asked to LOVE your job but you should at least LIKE your job. Not everyone may get a job that they love. Even those who get the job they love may not like the environment in which they have to work and this may ultimately result in loss of interest in the job.

Be a realist because you will be spending long hours in your workplace. You can not spend such long hours by doing a thing you do not like. Of course, you may have bad days but that does not mean you should not make efforts for liking your job.

Here is a simple formula and this has been suggested by Dale Carnegie in his book, "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living." If you use this formula, you can make even a dull and boring job interesting. The formula goes like this: If you do the work and imagine that you like it, you will then start liking it at least to a certain extent. This "act-as-if" principle will tend to convert your imaginary liking into reality very soon. You can delve deep and find out the ways to make your work interesting also.

4. Take action for seeing the change. Change your attitude and approach because this is the first step to succeed. In her famous book entitled "Eat Pray Love", Elizabeth Gilbert elaborates this with a short Italian joke. "A poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, 'Dear saint - please, please, please... give me the grace to win the lottery." This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, "My son - please, please, please... buy a ticket."

So, take the required steps for making the change you want. Sometimes, you may need to put in extra efforts but you should not hesitate. This means if you want a change, you should change yourself.