You may be comfortable in your career because your job is all you know and you are afraid to leave or you are happy with what you are doing and is not actively looking for the next opportunity. Either way, being comfortable while it is a good feeling can be a curse because remaining in one place can be your downfall and stall any potential growth and success. Therefore, do not become one of comfort’s victim. By participating in the four items discussed below, you can be prepared for if or when your comfort zone is no longer your comfort zone. Doing these four things not only prepares you but it leaves room for growth, development, and potential opportunities. While you are comfortable, use this time to take risks and invest in yourself.
The best time to network is when you are comfortable because you can take the time necessary to develop strong relationships and create a diverse portfolio of contacts. A strong network takes time to build and is a back and forth relationship. Doing this while you are comfortable allows you to invest the time and effort needed. If networking is unfamiliar to you, begin by talking to people, showing interest in the conversation, discussing your interests, exchanging contact information, and most importantly, following up. When networking, never forget to follow-up and continue to follow-up.
The concept of planting a seed means that a thought is placed in someone’s mind or brought to their attention that they may not act on immediately or use immediately, but it is left there in their subconscious until the right moment. In addition, a seed needs nourishment such as water to grow. The same applies to the informational seed that is planted; it needs validation, which can manifest in another seed by someone else, living up to the reputation, or seeing the person in action.
The goal is to plant as many seed as you can and nurture those seeds while you are comfortable. You can plant seeds by telling the right people about your ambitions. While it is understandable that you are comfortable, don’t forget about your ambitions and the things you dream of achieving. Use this time to plant the seeds for your dream.
Don’t burn bridges
Never burn a bridge because you never know when you will need that bridge. Essentially, remain on the good side of people. Do not allow people to walk away from you with a bad taste in their mouth. Not everyone will like you or be pleased with you but make a strong effort to be pleasant with everyone you interact with. Being comfortable can create a false blanket and leave you feeling that you do not have to put up with people but it is quite the opposite. Relationships are crucial for success and growth. Therefore, appreciate the ones you have
Continue to develop yourself
No job is guaranteed, especially if you work for someone else. You can secure your job to the best of your abilities but in life, certain circumstances are outside of your controls. That is why, continuously developing yourself is important. Strive to remain the best fit for your job and the best version of yourself. Develop yourself by reading books, attending professional events, participating in leadership programs, and taking self-assessments.
These four items allows you to enjoy the comfort zone while preparing for future endeavors and opportunities. Additional information and guidance on these topics is discussed in my new book, Women in Government: 10 Key Strategies to Advance Your Career.