It wasn’t until working as a Starbucks barista in Los Angeles that I realized the infinite number of ways one can order a cup of coffee. “I’ll have a venti, pumpkin spice, non-fat, extra hot latte with whipped cream and four shots of decaf espresso.” Say goodbye to the days of old, when your preferred cream/sugar ratio was the only way to distinguish yourself from the uniformity of coffee drinkers. Now we live in a world that encourages and embraces individuality like never before- where the biggest obstacle to getting what you want boils down to knowing what you want.
Unfortunately, for so many of us, knowing what we want is no small task. Autonomy amidst endless possibility can feel more suffocating than liberating. We convince ourselves that every step we take paves the road to regret, haunted by the options we leave behind, and that standing still is the best way to keep our options in front of us. It’s a toxic illusion that draws us closer and closer to a debilitating mind state we call the “comfort zone.” Falling into this trap can limit growth and development across any facet of life, but too often our careers take the biggest hit of all.
The time to invest in your future is now, and that starts with opening your mind to the countless opportunities you have at your disposal. Here at PSCI we understand the technology industry is a goldmine when it comes to opportunity. Take a look at these three avenues that might inspire you to take a leap of faith and break free from your comfort zone!
- Relocation: The prospect of leaving home for a new job can feel extremely unsettling, but the willingness to do so may pay huge dividends. Abandoning familiarity in pursuit of the unknown is, after all, the antithesis of clinging to your comfort zone. Think about it in statistical terms: the number of suitable jobs in a 50-mile radius is considerably less than the number of suitable jobs across the United States. Why not maximize the likelihood of finding the one position that suits you best? A wise man (Matsuo Basho) once said, “Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”
- Contract-to-hire: C2H agreements provide businesses with a certain level of flexibility when staffing their IT departments. What many people fail to realize is how this degree of flexibility can benefit the tech professionals as well. The trial period structured into the contract may feel like your window of opportunity to establish value in the eyes of your employer, but you should also use this time to gauge whether the employer is right for you. Think of it like sampling different flavors of ice cream before committing to the right one. You owe it to yourself to explore what’s out there before making any hasty career decisions. C2H agreements provide the perfect platform for doing just that.
- Taking on different/additional responsibilities: Sometimes self-assessments of talent can be heavily and unjustly influenced by responsibilities we’ve had in the past. Just because you never tried your hand in “x”, “y” and “z” doesn’t mean you aren’t capable. It can seem daunting when you don’t have the luxury of a reference point, but taking on different/additional responsibilities when possible is the best way to boost marketability and advance your career. Sometimes being the best just means having the most tools in your tool kit.
Don’t kid yourself – not everybody walks into Starbucks knowing exactly what they want. Exploring the options available to us is the only path to self-discovery. Until you decide to branch out and test your limits, you’ll never know what you’re truly made of.