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.