Help! My Dream Career Is Outside My Comfort Zone
August 20, 2012
So, you’ve discovered a career that looks awesome. It sounds exciting. You’d be perfect for it. The only problem? It’s way outside your comfort zone.
Maybe it’s going to take a lot of training to get there. Maybe it’s in a field that no one in your family has ever gone into. Maybe it’s in an industry that’s dominated by a gender that’s not yours. Maybe it’s a career that you’re worried people will judge you for choosing.
Whatever the reason, dream careers are often one step beyond what feels comfortable or achievable. But does that mean you shouldn’t go for it? Heck no!
Step #1: Take a Look at Your Fear
It’s easy to be afraid of what might happen if you go outside your comfort zone. And it’s even easier to convince yourself that your reasons for being afraid are totally valid.
But there’s a big difference between having a realistic vision of what you can accomplish, and relying on self-doubt to guide you. Ask yourself, “Do you actually think I can’t do this? Or am I afraid of failing?” If it’s the second situation, dig a little deeper.
Decisions about the future shouldn’t come from a place of fear. They should come from a place of excitement, information, and understanding.
Step #2: Get all the Facts
To feel more confident about going after an out-there career, research exactly what you’ve got to do in order to make it happen. The more information you have, the better off you’ll be.
For example, you might be worried or uncertain about the education you’ll need. Get online to research training, talk to a school counselor, or even talk to someone in the field to get a good idea of what preparation you’ll need. To get an idea of how much it will cost, you might try contacting the program you’re interested in, or using an online tool like the National Center for Education Statistics’ Net Price Calculator.
Step #3: Deal with the Rest of the World
Getting the information you need not only helps you plan out a practical strategy, it helps you make a strong case for why you’re making the right decision.
Unusual, ambitious, or uncommon career choice can sometimes make the people around you nervous or concerned—they don’t want you to make a crazy decision, right? Showing them that you’ve done the research can help relieve their worry.
Step #4: Take the Leap
At some point, you’ve got to take the first step outside your comfort zone. Maybe that’s telling your family about your ideas, applying for a program, or announcing your plans to the world on Facebook.
Whatever it is, hold onto the vision of your end goal—that awesome outside-the-box career—to stay strong and motivated. Now go get ‘em tiger!
What’s your favorite tip for tackling goals that are outside your comfort zone?