How You May be Holding Yourself Back at Work

5 Ways Your Career Comfort Zone Holds You Back

Your Comfort Zone Won’t Let You Grow

For some of us, going to work can often feel like being on autopilot. We show up, we do the same tasks day in and day out, and then we go home and do it all over again five days a week, week after week, year after year. The thought is both exhausting and boring at the same time.

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It’s easy to get stuck in a repetitive loop with your career and stay in your comfort zone—especially since being at work can sometimes feel as if it’s literally sucking the life right out of you. But giving into this monotonous feeling just makes the tedium worse as you get increasingly rooted in what feels comfortable. However, to really thrive in your career, you can’t let complacency trap you. Here are five ways your attachment to your professional comfort zone holds you back and how you can get unstuck fast.

1. It closes off your professional possibilities.
When you limit yourself to only what feels comfortable in your career, you end up narrowing the chances of exploring new avenues. And, the longer you stay stuck, the less motivation you’ll feel to make a change or try something new. If you don’t allow yourself to stretch your professional wings now, you may hurt your chances of growing in your career later. You need to evolve because everyone else will and leave you in their dust.

2. It keeps you from learning new skills.
Staying in your career comfort zone doesn’t encourage growth of any kind, including continued education. When you stick with what’s comfortable, you won’t be inspired to reach higher and learn the new skills that you need to really rock it in your career. Therefore, take stock of where you’re at and where you really want to be. What do you need to get there? Is there a class you can take or a book you can read to help you get closer to that next step? Find out and then go for it!

3. It prevents you from making new connections.
It’s safe to say that most of us don’t like networking. Introducing yourself to new people at a mixer or cold-calling someone you’d like to get career advice from are certainly not comfortable experiences. But allowing yourself to feel nervous or anxious about meeting someone new is a small price to pay for making connections that can really jumpstart a stagnant career.

This concept also applies to people within your current office. If you only socialize or chat with the same people every single day, you’re closing yourself off from potential mentors or colleagues who can help you be more productive or thoughtful about your work. Instead, make the rounds and tap into the potential relationships right around your cubicle.

4. It may make you feel unfulfilled in your work.
The more wedged into your comfort zone you get, the more bored you’re going to feel about your job. Doing the same tasks every day doesn’t stimulate your brain or help your creativity. Ask your boss if you can join a project that speaks to you or sit in on meetings in other departments so you can better understand the bigger picture. Changing your perspective in your current job may open up new possibilities for your career path that lead you out of your comfort zone.

5. It could foster imposter syndrome.
If you stay stuck in the same place professionally, you may feel unworthy of ever spreading your wings if and when opportunities come up. Stretching yourself in new areas gives you the confidence to keep pushing yourself and realizing your full potential. Don’t sell yourself short. You can continue to learn, grow, and push yourself, no matter what industry you’re in.

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