Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone at Work

stepping out of your comfort zone

It's easy to slip into a routine at work and think only about the day-to-day requirements of the job. You're good at what you do as an administrative professional. Your contribution is appreciated. Everything seems fine. But maybe you’re overlooking an opportunity. 

Stepping out of your comfort zone means pushing yourself toward personal and professional growth. The benefits can include greater job satisfaction, more marketable experience, stronger professional relationships and, of course, higher earning potential.

Here are five ways to challenge yourself at work:

1. Acquire new skills

Take the initiative. Staying abreast of changing technology and building new skills will boost your confidence and keep you at the top of your game. Many learning tools, like webinars, books and classes, are easy to incorporate into your schedule. To push your existing skills even further, consider options like earning a Microsoft certification.

2. Extend your professional connections

If you're naturally outgoing, this recommendation may seem easy, but friendly chatter at work isn't the same as networking. Professional associations and industry events offer every personality type the chance to meet and connect with others. Expanding your relationships beyond the office can help you build your industry knowledge and facilitate future job searches. Likewise, meeting new people within your company can make it easier to take on special projects and learn new skills.

3. Volunteer for new challenges

Admins who take initiative have a greater chance of being noticed and appreciated. For example, offer to help with projects that will introduce you to unfamiliar processes, technologies and people. You can acquire new skills while making professional connections.

4. Dare to ask for help

It can be uncomfortable to admit that you don't have all the answers, especially if you're used to being someone that others turn to for assistance. But stepping out of your comfort zone will involve asking for help at times. So recognize areas where you can improve. Be direct about asking for information you need. And take pride in the effort you make to expand your knowledge.

5. Be assertive

You don't have to be aggressive to assert yourself. Just share your ideas and suggestions. Take an active part in discussions and advocate for change when it’s needed. But never be afraid to acknowledge when someone else has a better idea. This is a collaborative process, not winner-take-all.

No one would argue that there’s something wrong about being comfortable at work. But stepping out of your comfort zone opens up new opportunities. Try looking at the process as “redefining” your comfort zone. You might discover it's a roomier space than you ever imagined.

How have you pushed yourself at work? Share your experience below.

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