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Move out of your comfort zone to get ahead

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

You like your company and your co-workers, but you’re bored. Chances are you’ve reached a plateau. Solution? Step out of your comfort zone.

Career-counseling experts say moving out of a “routine” position is critical. But even taking on new responsibilities or switching departments within the same company can help.

Here’s how to climb out of the rut:

Pay attention to metrics. Have your recent progress reports been lackluster? That’s a sure sign your work has become routine. Constantly look at how you can help the organization improve, suggests professor Aneil Mishra of Wake Forest University. This can prevent complacency.

Get involved in your company’s community or business initiatives. Volunteering is a great way to stumble upon unexpected opportunities, meet top execs in different settings, strengthen your network and be known for something beyond your title.

Look within the ranks for internal job opportunities.
Darrell Luzzo, president of the National Career Development Association, suggests speaking with people you trust within the company to let them know you’re seeking new opportunities.

Make time for career research. Set aside time to explore new avenues. “Think about your career like you do going to the dentist and getting a checkup every so often,” says Luzzo. If getting out of your comfort zone isn’t possible with your current company, look for a challenge elsewhere. Stay too long and you “become wedded to the culture,” says Mishra.

— Adapted from “In Order to Get Ahead, Get Out of Comfort Zone,” Alina Dizik, The Wall Street Journal.

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