How Expensive Is Our Comfort Zone? 3 Ways We Lose Money and Opportunities

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How Expensive Is Our Comfort Zone? 3 Ways We Lose Money and Opportunities

By Tammy Stone, The Psychology of Business

Getting outside of our comfort zone is difficult (to say the least). While working full time, having a family, friends, obligations, etc. who has time to learn a new skill? Unfortunately, there won’t be a day where we magically have more time or energy. Whether it’s a career related or personal goal, getting outside of our comfort zone has to be intentional. It’s a lot easier to stay in the same familiar place versus changing our routine. Continue reading to find out what your comfort zone might be costing you in the long run.

Fear of the Unknown
A recent studied showed 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work (Forbes). If more than half of the company is unhappy, why do they stay? Comfort Zone. There is mental stability and comfort in a routine. Getting up each day and knowing where we’re going, is safe and comfortable. When we get a new job, we have to meet new people, learn new systems, and many other unknowns. Most of us fear the unknown. When we fear something, our brain tricks us into thinking we’re doing the wrong thing (Thought Catalog). If we fear it, then it must be wrong. Getting out of our comfort zone means we are psychologically working against ourselves. It has to be a conscious effort.

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New Opportunities
If you’re unsure about staying or leaving your current job, did you know that it can cost you money to stay? If you’re looking to increase your value each year, statistically you should try and advance in your career. Along with experience, financially the average raise when starting a new position is between 10% to 20%. That’s a big jump compared to the average raise for your current position is only 3% per year. That number is even smaller when you consider inflation is around 2.1%. This means that if you get a 3% raise, but inflation is 2.1%, your yearly increase could actually be less than 1% (Forbes). This is not to undervalue employee loyalty and working for a great company. Leaving a position does not mean leaving the company. Advancement does not just exist outside of your organization. See what advancement opportunities are available with your current employer, as well as outside the company. Money isn’t the be all end all. Depending on what your goals are, it’s important to consider all options.

“Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is so easy to settle for a good life” – Jim Collins

We all like guarantees and sure things. We want to know that our time and efforts are not wasted. Networking is never a sure thing. It can be very time consuming without a clear payoff. It is a long term investment that can have great benefits, but hard to measure its progress. What if networking meant you would have more options in your career?  Research estimates almost 85% percent of jobs are filled through networking (HubSpot). That means your network could be more influential in your career than your skills. Networking offers a competitive advantage over other (similarly skilled) applicants. Putting in effort to network now, could allow you to skip the lines in your next job search. Which is worth getting outside your comfort zone for.

Final Thoughts
There are no guarantees that we’ll love our new job, or get anything out of a networking relationship. It is up to us to decide if taking a chance and getting out of our comfort zones is worth the energy needed for it. It’s okay to stay at a job you love or not want to start over, but it’s important to see if that lines up with your long term goals. Jim Collins said it best in his book, Good to Great, Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is so easy to settle for a good life”Everyone has different goals and aspirations. Taking on a new project or goal is a commitment. It’s up to us to figure out how much we want to push ourselves.

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