Why Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Career

Originally published on Forbes on February 11, 2015 By Jacob Morgan.
Why Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Career
A few weeks ago I shared a bit of personal information on getting out of your comfort zone with my private group of newsletter subscribers. I wanted to share it here with you as well and expand on it a bit. While I’m still growing, learning, and expanding my career to get to where I want to be, I firmly believe that getting out of my comfort zone was one of the most important things I have done for my career, but it took me a long time to realize that. I’m hoping that what I share below will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, regardless of whether you are a senior executive or a junior level employee. For someone who is self-employed this is crucial.
I was recently doing an interview for a magazine and the interviewer asked me what advice I would give to my younger self. Getting out of my comfort zone much sooner was at the top of my list! As I mentioned, I’ve been working on my own for several years now but only recently (a few months ago) did I launch a podcast and a video series. I always found it a bit weird to see myself on camera or to listen to my voice in a recording, and so years (and many opportunities) went by before I finally started to do both of these things. I really got inspired by the work that Jay Baer was and is doing with his blog, video series, and podcast (among other things). The guy is an absolute content machine and is always trying to find innovative ways to share his ideas. So, I decided to try some new things myself, hence the launch of The Future of Work Podcast and The Future in 5 (video series) both of which get shared here on this blog.
I remember when I first start speaking in front of large groups of people how strange and awkward that felt, but I had to force myself to do it because it’s an important way to spread ideas and build a brand.
Today the 19 episodes of “The Future of Work Podcast” have been listened to over 36,000 times and I have had the privilege of interviewing, meeting, and speaking with some of the smartest and passionate people in the world. The video series has also been doing well and each episode of “The Future in 5″ gets many hundreds of views. Now imagine where these things would have been had I started them a year ago or three years ago! I was too scared and I was too comfortable with what I had going on to venture into something unknown.
It took me five years to learn the importance of getting out of my comfort zone and now I’m constantly thinking about new things that I can and should be doing. I’m telling you this so that you don’t waste five years like I did. My most recent endeavor is giving keynote presentations without the use of any powerpoint slides, something which I personally find to be quite challenging and “uncomfortable” but important nonetheless. I actually just came back from Madrid, Spain, where I delivered my first presenation-less keynote and received fantastic feedback, all because I tried to do something different.
You will find that the more you get out of your comfort zone the more opportunities you will find in your professional and personal life. It’s no secret that the wold of work is changing that employees and organizations who cling to the status quo (aka comfort) are going to be the first ones to become obsolete.
So what are you going to do in 2015 to make yourself “uncomfortable?” and when are you going to do it!?
Jacob Morgan
Jacob Morgan is a futurist, author, and speaker. You can get the first 30 pages of his book for free as well as weekly content on the future of work by subscribing to his newsletter.