THE BLOG

Why Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone Is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Career

02/11/2015 10:19 pm ET | Updated Apr 13, 2015

2015-02-11-wherethemagichappens.jpgI shared this idea of getting out of your comfort zone with my private group of newsletter subscribers a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share it here with you as well and expand on it a bit. While I'm still growing, learning and expanding my career to get to where I want to be, I firmly believe that getting out of my comfort zone was one of the most important things I have for my career. For someone that is self-employed this is especially crucial!

I was recently doing an interview for a magazine and the interviewer asked me what advice I would give to my younger self. Getting out of my comfort zone much sooner was at the top of my list! As I mentioned, I've been working on my own for several years now, but only recently (a few months ago) did I launch a podcast and a video series. I always found it a bit weird to see myself on camera or to listen to my voice in a recording, and so years (and many opportunities) went by before I finally started to do both of these things. I really got inspired by the work that Jay Baer was and is doing with his blog, video series and podcast (among other things). The guy is an absolute content machine and is always trying to find innovative ways to share his ideas. So, I decided to try some new things myself, hence the launch of The Future of Work Podcast and The Future in 5 (video series).

I remember when I first started speaking in front of large groups of people how strange and awkward that felt, but I had to force myself to do it because it's an important way to spread ideas and build a brand.

Today the 19 episodes of "The Future of Work Podcast" have been listened to over 36,000 times; and I have had the privilege of interviewing, meeting and speaking with some of the smartest and passionate people in the world. The video series has also been doing well and each episode of "The Future in 5" gets many hundreds of views. Now imagine where these things would have been had I started them a year ago or three years ago! I was too scared and I was too comfortable with what I had going on to venture into something unknown.

It took me five years to learn the importance of getting out of my comfort zone and now I'm constantly thinking about new things that I can and should be doing. My most recent endeavor is to give keynote presentations without the use of any powerpoint slides, something which I personally find to be quite challenging and "uncomfortable," but important nonetheless. I actually just came back from Madrid, Spain, where I delivered my presenation-less keynote and received fantastic feedback -- all because I tried to do something different.

You will find that the more you get out of your comfort zone the more opportunities you will find in your professional and personal life. It's no secret that the world of work is changing, that employees and organizations who cling to the status quo (aka comfort) are going to be the first ones to become obsolete.

So what are you going to do in 2015 to make yourself "uncomfortable?" and when are you going to do it!?

Jacob Morgan is a futurist, best-selling author and keynote speaker, learn more by visiting The Future Organization.com or check out his latest book,"The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders and Create a Competitive Organization," on Amazon.