HR Insights, HR Management

Getting Out of the Comfort Zone: Why New Job Experiences Make Sense

comfortz

Ten years in your current role? You’re stale. And stagnant. Your resume probably reads like a job description.

When recruiters and hiring managers stop being human, they’ll stop having biases. Biases are all over the place, legal and illegal — we just don’t know about them.

My biases are centered on wanting to see candidates who have gotten bored in their roles and made the choice to move on. Not because they were laid off and had to move on. I’m looking for the folks who are hungry to do more — striving to be that rock-star with an organization. (I broke my own rule there — I hate the word “rock-star.” Sorry ’bout that.)

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Now if you’ve spent 10 years with the same organization but have progressed within the company and held different roles — that’s good to see! Please read carefully:

When you don’t step out of your comfort zone, you don’t grow. Period, end of story.

When you get too comfy in a job, that’s all it is — a job. You show up for work every day, do what’s expected of you, don’t make waves and your bills get paid. It’s all good.

Or is it?

It just shows that you can do what many Americans are already doing every day. But as a prospective hiring manager I’ll take the liberty of stealing Janet Jackson’s lyrics and ask you, “What have you done for me lately?“ Or what have you done for your current organization that you can bring to mine? Can you show what your accomplishments are? If you can, you’re on track.

You’re only as good as your last gig and the accomplishments under your belt within that gig.

5 reasons why different experiences are good for you

Am I condoning job hopping? No. And my definition of job hopping might be different from yours. I view job hopping as folks who change jobs within a one-year period. I think people who change jobs every two to three years is a good sign.

Here’s why different job experiences are good for you:

  • You’re exposed to different working styles and personalities of several managers and co-workers. This comes in handy when navigating the waters of corporate politics — which you will encounter at some point.
  • It’s good for your self-esteem and will keep you sharp within your industry. When you bring your awesome talent to a new organization, you bring fresh eyes and new ideas. They’ll appreciate that and you’ll feel valued because you’ll be valued.
  • Varied workplace environments give you the best education — experience. You can be in the same occupation and industry but it doesn’t mean that every company does the same thing in the same way. They don’t. Learning new ways of doing your work and being more productive is always something you can build on with a new organization. Staying at one place too long puts you in a silo and you risk being viewed as not being flexible or easily adaptable to change. It’s no secret in business that the only thing that stays the same is CHANGE.
  • You can decide what types of companies you like to work in. Do you like big corporate organizations or do you prefer smaller companies? Being exposed to several organizations that have different protocols will allow you to continue learning. And while some employees never catch a glimpse of their company’s CEO, others can mosey on in to their CEO’s office and chat about the weekend. You decide which one fits you best.
  • This goes for CEOs too. Just because you’re the head honcho doesn’t mean you don’t get stale. You do. You can ride on the coattails of a successful project for only so long before you’ll be looked upon to come up with the company’s next big thing. My personal bias is that CEOs should be flushed out every 5-7 years just for the perspective of bringing fresh eyes to the table.

Bring it.

This was originally published on Kimberly Roden’s Unconventional HR blog.

Kimberly Roden is the founder of Unconventional HR. An HR pro turned consultant, she has 25 years of progressive experience as a strategic HR and business leader in a variety of industries. Her hands-on and innovative approach allows her to create and deliver HR solutions to meet business challenges and needs by managing human capital, talent acquisition and technology. Connect with her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Kimberly_Roden , or at kim@unconventionalhr.com .
  • Wendy_HR

    I couldn’t agree more!

    • kimberly_roden

      Thank you Wendy — I appreciate your comment!

  • Jacque Vilet

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. However . . . when you have say 15 years of experience it doesn’t “look good” on your resume that you have had 4-5 jobs. Recruiters frown on that. So . . . .

    • kimberly_roden

      Hello Jacque, I don’t see that being frowned upon at all. What’s wrong with candidates staying 2-3 years at a job? There is nothing wrong with 4-5 jobs in a 15-year time span at all — especially if the candidate has solid reasons of explaining why they moved on. It shows amibition and both professional and personal initiative.

  • http://twitter.com/DaveTheHRCzar Dave Ryan, SPHR

    Nice piece Kim. So I am asking (*me) is that me….

    • kimberly_roden

      Well I don’t know Dave — is it? :)

  • http://twitter.com/letyeu letitia yeung

    As you mentioned, job-hopping doesn’t have to mean changing companies. I did this and the new role opened new doors that I never imagined in my previous role. Being outside of one’s comfort zone is sometimes terrifying (certainly was/is for me) but can bring huge rewards, you just have to be brave and go for it.

    • kimberly_roden

      You’re right Letitia — it is terrifying! But as you’ve said, the rewards can take you to levels of professional and personal growth. When you think of the alternative (boredom, complacency) you have only valuable experience to gain when you take the plunge.

      thanks for your comment!

    • lheigne

      i really like your comment letitia. since am now terrified with such fears of facing my new job…