Stepping out of your comfort zone to be the best possible version of yourself.
Contrary to popular belief, we never have everything figured out before graduating college. We learn new things about ourselves every single day so it’s almost impossible to know all of your skills and qualities that you have to offer to your future employers. However, by stepping out of your daily routine, you are much more likely to discover all of the hidden talents you have and apply those to your job search.
Defining your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone is all psychological, meaning you create it! We subconsciously fall into a routine that results in the lowest levels of stress possible. While this can be a good thing, it can also get us stuck in habits that may be unhealthy for our minds and body. So, before you look at how to break out of your current habits, you need to evaluate where you are now. When you go through your week, take note of your patterns and examine them. Find places where you can fit a new activity or replace an old one.
Ways to step out of your comfort zone
- Try something new
One of the easiest ways to step out of your comfort zone is to simply try something new. It can be as simple as trying a new recipe or as exciting as learning a new hobby. Start small and build your way to more ambitious projects. Try to incorporate at least one new activity into your current routine every week.
By volunteering you are not only switching up your typical routine, but you are also doing something good for your community. You could volunteer on a small level and just do some good deeds around the community or you could join a volunteer group which you could also put on your resume. This could not only have a positive impact on your town but also could help you stand out to employers.
- Think about what scares you
By sitting down and thinking about your fears, you are able to figure out the things that are holding you back. Are you afraid of failing? Rejection? Change? By narrowing down these fears, you can ease into combating them. A very common example of this would be people who are afraid of failure or public speaking will sign up for an open mic night at their local comedy club. They know it’s not their strong suit, but they put themselves in that uncomfortable situation to grow as a person.
Why does stepping out of your comfort zone matter?
The obvious answer here is to grow as person and find new things you may enjoy. However, by stepping out of your comfort zone you are also opening yourself up to new opportunities professionally. On a small scale, this could be applying for jobs you think you would never be considered for or learning a new skill outside of your current job description.
Ways to stand out professionally
- Applying for jobs
It is very easy to get discouraged and stuck in a routine when applying for jobs. However, to land your dream job, you’re going to have to put in extra time and effort. It can be difficult to find a career that caters to your skills and interests but there are many resources to help you with this task. For college students, this could be going to your advisor and asking for help or even going to your university’s job fair to see what kind of jobs are out there. One of your new activities for the week to step out of your comfort zone could be speaking to the potential employers who go to job fairs in your area.
For more job search tips check out these articles!
- Expanding your knowledge
Once you have a job secured, there are still ways to step out of your comfort zone in the work place. If you start feeling like you are falling back into the same routine every day, try to switch things up by learning a new skill for your resume. Even though you have a job at the moment, there will always be room to improve. By taking the initiative to further your knowledge on your own time, you become the employee that companies are looking for. This could be something like getting a new certification or learning a computer software. It’s best to never stop learning in your personal and professional life.
- Knowing your worth
By starting out small now with stepping out of your comfort zone, soon you will be able to advocate for yourself in the workplace. It can be very intimidating to be the newest or youngest person in the office but that doesn’t mean your voice doesn’t matter. If you feel undervalued as an employee, do something about it. Ask for more responsibilities or a raise, take the initiative to make your work life the one you dreamed about.
Self-care during these big life changes.
Lastly, it is extremely important to think about your mental health during this crucial time in your life. It can be very easy to get discouraged by the difficulties of finding a job once you graduate. This is a common obstacle that everyone will face at some point in their lives. While it may feel like finding a job is the most important thing, it is okay to give yourself a break and take some time for you. At the end of the day, you need to do what makes you happy. If you are overwhelmed mentally, you could end up making a decision you are not happy with just so you can start a career. You want to set yourself up for a healthy workplace environment and a happy life, this is not a decision you need to rush.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is important for your personal and professional future.
There are countless ways to add something new into your everyday routine. Whether it’s volunteering, learning a new skill, or contacting potential employers, you need to do what feels right for you. For more tips to help you navigate your job search during college, subscribe to our newsletter! We are a source for college students, by college students and we want to help you find your first job.