With millions of kids heading back to school this week, there are kids that are filled with anxiety about a new teacher, new classroom, or even new school. The kids are definitely breaking out of their comfort zone and learning to deal with new environments and challenges.
When was the last time you broke out of your comfort zone in your job search? For example, if networking terrifies you, maybe it’s time to face that fear head on. Or maybe you just had a job interview and are afraid to call the interviewer for feedback and/or next steps. Whatever the case may be, sometimes you need to push yourself further than you are accustomed to for a chance at success.
Personally, I hate attending business events and being stuck in a room of people who I don’t know. And this is really silly, because usually these will be great networking contacts. Why do I get so worked up? Beats me, but it gets me every time. I know what to say and do; I just don’t like doing it. So how do I change? How do I bust out of my comfort zone (by the snack table) and work the room?
Commit to change. It’s easy to say you’re going to try and do something different, but you really have to want to change your behavior. Do whatever you have to do: write down some goals, have a friend hold you accountable, or set up a reward system for yourself.
Start small. You don’t have to tackle all your challenges at once. Set realistic goals. If you’re shy when it comes to networking, try to set a goal of one quality, new contact per week. Hopefully, it gets easier every week and that goal will eventually seem ridiculously easy.
Try other new things. Every one of us probably has a list of things we should and could try. Keep your list handy. Try a new challenge every so often. Some will go better than others, and that’s ok. If something doesn’t work out, move on to the next item. Just don’t stop trying.