Many people mistakenly think comfort zone only applies to those who work for a big company. They imagine those people work in 9 to 5 basis, come every morning to office to turn on the light and turn off the light at the end of the day, and try to waste time whole day by socializing with colleagues, updating facebook status, and browsing through news site on the Internet.
According to Wikipedia "The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk."
Pay attention to the word anxiety-neutral, limited behaviours, sense of risk.
That means, even if someone works for a big company and everyday he has to take risk in making business-related decisions, he is not in comfort zone.
That means, even if someone works for his own business but always executes the same way he has been doing, he does not try to challenge new norm, he does not take risk, he only uses similar set of behaviours to achieve a steady level of performance, is more likely to be in his comfort zone.
That means, anyone who works in environment or situation where one does not feel safe, does not feel ease and always under stress, is not in his comfort zone.
It has nothing to do with the type of work. It does not mean full-time entrepreneur is always outside the comfort zone. It does not mean working for someone is always end up in the comfort zone.
What is the easiest way to stay away from comfort zone?
Jim Carrey knows best. Always say yes.
Always say yes to new opportunity. Say yes to new challenges. Say yes to new places.
I personally like this approach and I have embraced the principle of saying yes during the past few years of my life.
And where does it take me, you may ask?
- I have moved to several different teams inside Cisco, I changed manager three times this year alone
- I have lead many different projects in different countries
- My new team, which I moved to it last month, is giving me opportunity to build development plan of the skills required to deliver new and emerging technology for all other team members
- I was able to build custom IPv6 training material kit for customer
- I made a project delivery model to help optimizing the cost during project execution
- I received few internal awards this year, and the highest rating for employee
- I'm currently focusing on Software Defined Network and working on my Python skill
- I have been volunteering to develop CCIE content as well as other certifications including the internal specialization program for Cisco employee
- I have been in Cisco Live few times as speaker for CCIE session
- I moved to a bigger house that all my family members love
- I'm currently a student of Global MBA program from Manchester Business School
- I did hajj, mandatory religious pilgrimage, two months ago
- I founded a non-profit organization and I have been managing its activities like regular Webex meeting to facilitate senior professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and experience to young professionals and students from my country
- I'm the chairman of a new company focusing on advanced education, at the same time as revenue engine to help the operation of my non-profit organization
- I created CCIE93 recently, world's first community based mentoring program to help my fellow Indonesians to pass CCIE exam in 93 days, then I created the new Network Engineer+ class as the bridge for those who want to learn computer networking even without any computer background at all
- I designed and delivered IP NGN class in Jakarta early Desember where I taught a 5-day training course combining technical theory, best practice, hands-on lab and consulting skill to help professionals in my country competing in global market
Always say yes. And stay away from comfort zone.