Are You Willing to Be "Uncomfortable" to Achieve Career Satisfaction?


Change may be scary but to be able to grow and develop we need to allow ourselves to be uncomfortable. I heard this saying many years ago and have found it to be so true in so many areas of people’s lives. It is especially true in the area of career development. In my many years as a career coach, I have supported people in positions that no longer fit them, but they are so resistant to step out of their comfort zone to take the first step to making a change.

For most people, change is scary. A job loss is one of the top five most stressful life events people experience; the others include death of a loved one, divorce, moving and major illness/injury. I applaud those who realize a position is not a fit for them and take action to make a change. Often people stay in their position not because they enjoy what they do but because of, what’s is called, “the golden handcuffs.” That term refers to when an individual feels the need to stay in a position, not because they enjoy what they do but because it gives them the salary, benefits, and knowing exactly what they are getting as a known entity. Any other position/company is “the unknown.” Their fear is that any other position will not make them any happier so, for them, it’s safer to stay where they are and not take the risk. When they finally make the decision to do something about it and start a serious job search, they say they are sleeping so much better. Surprisingly, this is also true for many people who did not initiate the job change but the decision was made by their employer. I have even heard people say that they almost want to thank their previous employer for laying them off! I don’t know if anyone actually has but many have thought about it.

Getting out of a position that causes stress and taking steps to get to a good place allows them to see a way out of a negative situation. Staying in a position that doesn’t fit you bleeds into your personal life with those around you, your mental health and your physical well-being. I have had several clients have ulcers because they continued to stay in a position that caused them major stress. They say, “I just need to hang on two more years til I can retire” or “my skills are not marketable outside my current company”. What is the expense of “hanging on” two more years? How great to think of going into retirement after finding a position that you really enjoy and look forward to rather than dreading having to another week of work every Sunday afternoon. I have supported countless individuals who think their skills are not marketable outside of their current company. It is so fun to see their eyes opened to so many positions and companies that fit what they enjoy doing and are interested in their expertise. I have never had a client who was truly not marketable outside their current job. What keeps me going is hearing the success stories after clients have begun a new position that they love - the excitement in their voices and faces as they talk about their new position is incredible!

We always have choices. Rather than just talking about how miserable you are in your job, do something about it. Take a chance and allow yourself to be uncomfortable to get to where you want to be.

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