Many of us have been in jobs we’ve hated at some point in our careers, jobs where we just feel stuck. Well, we’re here to tell you how stepping outside your comfort zone can help you achieve your long-term goals, whatever they may be.
Think of some of the most successful people you know. Most of them started at the bottom and worked their way to the top. Did you know Pope Francis was once a bouncer in a nightclub and a janitor? Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the richest man in the world, used to work in McDonalds. Well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk used to work in a lumber mill. The point is, all of them at one point had to take the necessary steps to further their career.
You too can achieve your long-term goals, but first you will most likely need to accept that you will have to step out of your comfort zone. How, you may ask?
Here are some of the steps you can take:
- Work out what you want to do first
Many of us simply stay in a job we hate because it’s easier and comfortable. Finding out what you enjoy, and what you are good at, is a great first step in working towards a career you will enjoy. We’ve got a great free, world-leading career assessment tool named Cognisess that will test what career path best suits you, your personality, and your strengths. Once completed you’ll be given a detailed report with best career path options for you.
Assess your best career path – COGNISESS.
- Retrain for a career
Whether it is in a similar industry or one that is completely different, taking a step back to complete some training (and perhaps a study loan or a pay cut while studying) will help you achieve your long-term goals. Accept that you may be uncomfortable for a period of time, perhaps a few years even, but it will be worth it in the long term.
- Change Companies
Another option you can take is to change companies. If you stay with a company that isn’t allowing you any progression or opportunity to do the work you want to do, find a company that will. Perhaps you want to gain experience in management. Changing to a smaller sized company may provide an opportunity to gain management experience that can take you forward. Similarly, you may be with a smaller company that has no room for you to grow so moving to a larger company may provide you with those growth opportunities for your career.
- Sidestep in your role
Another option you can take is to sidestep. If you’re happy with the company you’re working for but tired of your position there, consider finding a different role within that organisation where you can challenge yourself and gain new skills that might help you attain future positions.
If you have no experience but want to gain some, try approaching companies you would like to work for and offer to undertake an internship. You might not get paid while doing this but the experience will allow you to complete on-the-job training over a certain period of time, gain industry contacts, and can also lead to employment opportunities in your chosen career.
Ask yourself if the location you’re in now is really the best choice for the industry you want to work in. For instance, if you live in a high tourism area (like the Gold Coast) but want to be a neuroscientist, you may need to consider relocating. Is there a better city, region, or country even that offers better opportunities for you to grow in your career and help you achieve those long-term goals?
- Study while working
Whether it’s university study while working to support yourself or taking on a traineeship or an apprenticeship (where you get paid while learning on the job), studying whilst working allows you to earn an income while working towards your career goals.
- Write down your plan
As Tony Robbins says, ‘a goal without a plan is actually just a wish’. Writing down your plan (perhaps including some of the suggested steps above) is a great way to keep you on track to achieving your career goals.
As you can see, there are many options to help you get out of your rut and upskill and retrain for a more rewarding career. Getting out of your comfort zone and planning which strategy will best help you achieve those long-term goals is your best first step.
Life’s too short right? Now it’s up to you – game on!
Paul Miles, Managing Director for the BUSY Group Ltd, was also once in a job he hated – painting tar onto train tracks. Watch what he has to say about the steps to take to achieve your long-term career goals.