Applying for Jobs outside Your Comfort Zone—Why It Matters

On its own, the comfort zone can be a good thing. After all, it’s where you belong naturally, and the place you escape to whenever life gets a little out of hand. Your comfort zone can be your home, your family, your favorite restaurant, even your job. It’s wherever your heart feels most at ease. In your comfort zone, you feel safe, secure, and never have to worry about a thing.

However, just as it can be helpful, staying in your comfort zone can also be the one thing that’s preventing your growth into a well-rounded and fulfilled human being.

We at Resumeble know that people, in general, are afraid to embrace change. As a job seeker, your inclination would be to choose a career that revolves around your forte—the skills and abilities you’re good at. Unfortunately, a riskless life is often an unhappy one, and the longer you stay long inside your comfort zone, the less happy and contented you’ll be.

How so, you may ask? Mainly because of two things: One, it’s conditioning you to settle, and two, it’s preventing you from achieving your true potential. It’s easy to settle into your professional comfort zone, especially when you’ve already found some degree of success within it. However, you can’t grow in your comfort zone, and when you don’t grow, it runs contrary to your nature as a human being. Career-wise, lack of growth can mean you’re not only hurting yourself but also your team and your company. Popular comfort zone quote:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

—Robert Frost

Growth is about becoming more than who you are now, and the only way for that to happen is to experience things OUTSIDE of you. And this requires you to not only step out of your comfort zone but to leave it behind altogether.

Stepping out of your professional comfort zone

If you’re at a point in your career when the daily grind is starting to leave you feeling uninspired and unmotivated, it may be time to leap into the unknown, try something completely new, and maybe even fail. Switching careers or finding a new one is all about change, and that change starts with a new job search.

Here’s how to ensure your search land you a job outside of your comfort zone:

1. Make a procrastination list

Write the activities that you’ve always wanted to do, but have been putting off for whatever reason. Find the time to do them, and do so immediately. Try to set specific deadlines to perform your list. This simple task goes a long way toward gaining the confidence necessary to take a bigger step further outside your comfort zone.

2. Try something new

Developing the confidence to get out of your comfort zone is a step-by-step process, and this entails doing things you’ve never done before. Push yourself deliberately out of your daily routines. Do things that scare you, whether it’s taking dancing lessons, trying a new sport, or skydiving. The more often you do it, the more it will feel natural. You may fail at times, but as long as you get back up and keep trying, eventually, you’ll overcome your fear.

3. Learn a new skill

If you keep doing the same things, you’ll learn very little. With that said, if you want to land a job in another industry, you may have to learn a new skill. This skill may require you to earn a degree or certification before hiring managers can consider its legitimacy. For you, this may mean taking a course, going back to school, or undergoing training. Make an effort to discover more about different careers and industries. This helps you determine what you like and don’t like, which will help you identify the new skills that you would be interested in learning.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to certifications and degrees. If an activity sparks your interest, invest the time to learn it and stick with it. If nothing else, that new skill can help open up new career possibilities for you.

4. Practice fresh networking approaches

Go to new hangout spaces, join new groups, and strike a deeper, more meaningful conversation with people you get to know along the way. Expand your horizons by taking new approaches to networking. Conversations help you learn new things, which helps broaden your scope. As a job seeker, you need to stay on the lookout for employers from other industries who are active on social networks. Who knows, with the right connections, you can make the transition easier.

5. Take it one step at a time…

As mentioned, leaving your comfort zone is a process, so if you’re especially nervous about doing something new, try to break down your goal into smaller, manageable steps. For instance, if you want to take up rock climbing but are afraid of heights, try to see how long you can stay on a balcony railing, working on staying longer every day. Visualize your success, and you may find it is easier to achieve than you first thought possible.

…or make the big leap

If taking small steps feels like torture, perhaps taking things slowly is not for you. In this case, go for it and jump off the deep end. Psyche yourself up, breathe, gather all the courage you can muster, and jump headfirst to immerse yourself into the unknown.

6. Modify your job search strategy

The job search landscape is constantly evolving, with technology playing an ever-growing role. A simple update to your resume can yield impressive results. Just make sure to brush up on current employment practices and trends, and adjust your job search tactics accordingly.

Does your resume need an update?

When was the last time you updated your resume? A lot may have happened to your career since then. If you’ve gained a new experience, achieved a significant milestone, or gone through a significant career shift, it’s time to get your resume up to speed.

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  • 7 seconds: this is how long your resume has either to impress or be ignored by the recruiter 
  • 300+: average number of applications one corporate job opening posted online receives 
  • 3%: number of sent resumes that result in interviews 

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