Getting Beyond Comfortable
Are you good at what you do? Do you get glowing performance reviews? You may have a serious problem at work
For the vast majority of us, being comfortable in what we do is one of the major reasons why we are in our current occupation. When we’re not comfortable, we usually look for opportunities to do something else.
But we can become too comfortable in what we do. A little discomfort in our work is actually really good for us—and our careers.
Why? Because when we’re not comfortable—or in the “discomfort zone,” as Julie Zhuo, product design vice-president at Facebook, calls it—we grow faster. We do this by stretching our skills, doing things we haven’t tried before, and by looking for new things to learn.
The key is to set new challenges for yourself. Pushing yourself beyond the comfortable takes self-motivation, because if your boss and co-workers think you’re doing a great job, they’re not expecting more.
But don’t sell yourself short. All the great inventors, record breakers, and people who have gone on to do extraordinary things pushed themselves.
Don’t think you need to invent the next iPhone. In the ordinary everyday work that you do, putting yourself in the discomfort zone will help you grow, achieve greater career success, and maybe even lead to a new career.
Zhuo's 5 Tips for Staying in the Discomfort Zone
1. Feedback is your responsibility.
Not getting the feedback you need to do your job better? Ask for it.
2. Find a mentor.
Is there someone at work who does an outstanding job that you can learn from? Don’t be shy.
3. Have the tough talks.
Do you gloss over the times when you know you could have done a better job? Invite discomfort from co-workers and managers.
4. Set goals for trying something new.
Zhuo asks, “What’s something you want to do but sounds scary right now? . . . Do it.”
5. Don’t be afraid of change.
Tried all of the above but are still too comfortable in what you do? Change your environment.