Changing Careers Means Getting Uncomfortable
One of my favorite quotes: "A Salary is the Drug They Give You to Forget Your Dreams” -Kevin O’Leary
Ouch! That quote kind of hits home for most. If that is true, why do we stay in a job that we hate? Stability, afraid of the current economy and the spectre of layoffs?
Thinking about changing careers can be scary. Most people just stay right where they are, because they are frightened by the possibility of failure. Since they have their family to provide for, they make the justification that they shouldn't tempt fate, since moving to a new career might not turn out so well. So that person sticks with their current career even though they are not happy, years later wondering "what could have been."
If You Never Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone, How Do You Know What You Are Truly Capable Of?
Sports records fall every day because athletes keep pushing themselves. They are not happy with their current level of achievement. They want to know how good they can be, so they train and work very hard. They push themselves out of their comfort zone, their regular training regimen. They lift heavier weights, work out longer, and run faster. The result of becoming uncomfortable, training as they have never trained before, is new personal bests and sometimes world records.
This is because of something known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Dodson and Yerkes were a couple of psychologists who, in the earliest years of the 20th century, discovered that stress
leads to achievement. What they found was that significant achievement did not happen until a person took small steps outside of the environment, surroundings, and behaviors where he felt most comfortable.
Small Steps Lead to Big Change
They noted that when someone was put in an entirely uncomfortable, stressful environment, performance was horrible. However, taking small steps outside of a person's comfort zone slowly began to expand the area where that person was happy and comfortable. Over time, it becomes easier and easier to take on new tasks and expose yourself to unfamiliar experiences.
If your job is killing you, physically or mentally, maybe you should switch careers. Don't take a giant leap, take a baby step instead. Rather than immediately moving from one career to another, why not take a part-time job in a career that interests you? Maybe you can sign up for classes or certification in some field that has captured your attention. These small steps outside of your comfort zone will eventually give you the confidence to move onto an entirely different career if your current field of employment is not working out.