To say the least 2017 has been an interesting and challenging year for me personally. It has definitely tested my experience, skills and patience. In looking back on the first half of 2017 I can say with absolute certainty that the challenges that I have faced have pushed my career forward. It wasn’t clearly obvious to me in the moment, but in reflecting, I can see it.
Needless to say, I have pushed myself, and been pushed, outside of my comfort zone. For this reason, I have attained new skills, experience and knowledge that will help me in my career. In fact, now that I think about it, I have spent the majority of my career outside of my comfort zone. It hasn’t always been easy, comfortable or successful, but I don’t regret one second of it.
I could have easily taken the traditional HR career path, and who knows, I could have been a senior HR executive at a large Canadian bank by now. I did work for one more than 10 years ago, and the career paths were as clear as black and white. But, for several reasons and circumstances I chose a different path, and boy has it been an interesting fide.
I have done some really interesting things in my career, and have learned a ton. Because of these experiences I can take so many different paths in my career, which is what I intended to do when I first started out in 2000. As I said, it hasn’t always been comfortable, or safe, but I attribute living outside of your comfort zone as the biggest factor that has influenced my career development. You can’t learn something new if you’re doing things you are an expert at. You can’t grow your skillset if you have learned everything there is to know in your current job. You can’t expand your potential career paths if you don’t push yourself and live outside of your comfort zone.
Everyone has a different threshold in the amount of risk, ambiguity and challenge they can live with. I know this. However, every single workin person should never EVER live 100% inside their comfort zone. That person will be left behind while their peers grow, flourish and obtain new life-fulfilling career experiences. Give it a try, and if you need that gentle nudge let me know as I would be more than happy to do it.