How I Freed Myself from Comfort Zone

I started my first job as an English teacher at a Christian non-profit organization, providing English and computer courses to Cambodia students who cannot afford school fee at university. This opportunity came to me after I finished this course and I was also one of the outstanding students at that NGO. Of course, I did not earn much, but it was very exciting for me to join loved working environment that I have chance to contribute in educating students from rural areas.

After three years in peaceful working environment, I was still appreciated the way I helped the society, and personally I improved a lot of English language. I met and gained respects from a lot of new students.

However, one day I got an idea about changing my life. I asked myself what else I could do in my life besides teaching English. Thinking over and over, I decided to move from NGO environment to private business sector because I need to challenge myself in the new world.

Of course, I did what I thought and firstly it was very hard for me to adjust myself to the new environment in term of workload, different expectation from employers as well as dealing with clients. Sometimes I almost give things up and go back to become an English teacher again. However, I believe that human is designed to step forward, not backward so I kept trying. To keep moving, there is only one way for me to do- that’s adjusting myself to changes.

Here are the 7 imperatives to help me switch from NGO to private sector:

1. Create awareness of the need for change

Before I moved from one job to another, I created a few good reasons that I need the necessary change in my life- that’s simple, a better salary. Besides basic earning, my needs are to perform new roles, make new achievement, and connect new people. Understanding the importance of change, I strongly pushed myself before I can fly further because it was the first time for me to change my job.

2. Create a vision of where I want to go

Another influencing factor that makes me leave my comfort zone is to foresee what level I will be in the next few years. Personally, holding a role in human resources management position is what I wanted to do. If you have your own dream role, why not create reason to give you motivation to move on?

3. Assess my readiness for change

To challenge in the new job, I need to see what my current potentiality is. For example, good English language is the most important thing for communication at workplace. Another thing to consider is to check if I am ready to contribute my energy and time to work because I know that working in private sector needs more commitment.

4. Facilitate change

To face the change, I plan to provide myself with roadmaps. What I mean by this is that I need to find ways that comfort me to do my job well. Different assignments may need different steps and procedures to make things done, so I create them on my own. For example, when I don’t trust my memory, technology is my best workmate.

As a humble person, it is not difficult for me to seek help from other people round me. I like making good communication so that I will gain enough support from many people around me when I face new things. Age is just a number so I don’t mind seeking help from older or younger people than I am.

5. Motivate myself

It is not easy to challenge new things, so self-motivation is the key to success. When I am in tough situation, I don’t let myself upset easily. I keep myself positive because I see obstacles as new things to learn and make me a strong me.

6. Follow up progress

The way I measure my progress is to set a standard criteria to achieve or getting close to. Then I often review my performance so far and compare to the criteria set. Another method is to compare progress to the persona I want to become in the future. Knowing all this, I manage to adjust the way I work in order to achieve better outcome.

7. Celebrating and recognizing success

It’s not done yet when I do something the best for my work. I don’t care how other people recognize my achievement or not. I just give myself a reward. Sometimes I buy myself a favorite drink, and watching my favorite movies is also another relaxing motivation for my good job.

Stop staying in your comfort zone if you want something better for your life because doing same things, you will get same results. A desire to be successful is not enough- it needs blood and sweat. Accept the fact that moving forward is not easy like going on tour; therefore, create awareness of where and what you want to be. Then wait for no more and simply start taking action.

Your turn!

Have you ever been in love with a comfort workplace for too long?

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