The phrase “get out of your comfort zone” is always uttered when you’re being motivated to do better in life. It’s the same with dealing with phobias. For someone who’s afraid of heights to deal with his fear, he is slowly being subjected to increasing heights so as to desensitize him. The point is to get out of your comfort zone so you could grow. So if you’re too comfortable with the direction your career is going, perhaps you may not be taking enough risks.
Why would you need to take a risk if everything’s all set for you? To that, you should ask another question. Are you truly happy with your career that you feel you have reached the highest you can go or are you just settling for a stressful job that pays well? If it’s the latter, then you may find a lot of other opportunities if you take risks.
Risks need not be huge ones. It’s as simple as volunteering for a presentation when you have a fear of speaking in public. It’s as small as striking up a conversation with the big boss of the company if you find yourself alone with him in the smoking area. Again, the core idea is to get out of your comfort zone. By handling a presentation, you not only get over your fear of talking in front of an audience, you get to add public speaking to your repertoire.
The bigger risks to take often involve leaving your current position or company and, again, outside of your comfort zone. For instance, if you hold a higher-tier position in the IT department, you can try your luck at being in sales where you can have the chance to reap good commission. You may also take a crack at a trainer position if you have developed a knack for public speaking from all those presentations.
Finally, there’s also taking a risk with another company. If you have gotten too comfortable with your current standing in your company and would like to experience something fresh, you can apply for a good position in another and expand your skill set.
Do note that there’s a difference between taking risks for your career and gambling it away. Jumping blindly into a situation you don’t understand is never a good idea. Your career is on the line here, so take risks only if you understand the rewards and the possible pitfalls you may encounter.