It’s not unusual to hear comments that mention focusing on a few things in your professional life that you should build depth or expertise in. People say something for “Jack of all trades, master of none”. In that context, I would have to agree. It shows commitment, builds your value proposition, and contributes to a sense of confidence in what you have to offer. One can certainly say a lot about excelling at what one does. What else is required to commit, build your value proposition, and have confidence in what you do? Get out of your comfort zone.
Easy to say but hard to do. Taking on projects that may not be related to your area of expertise can be daunting, but they are often the best way to grow and take your skills to the next level. The courage and ability to take on something that you are less familiar with and not confident in your ability to master, forces you to leave that comfortable area where familiarity and complacency can keep you from realizing what you are capable of.
You have to show a little more humility, listen more, research more, and consider multiple outcomes. Which will help you apply yourself in ways you may not have had to in a while. In the end, when you add new skills to the ones you are already comfortable with, your clients win. In fact, you come away with a renewed sense of purpose, confidence, and commitment to who you are. As well as, what you bring to the table.
Now notice I said “skills” in the last paragraph and not “professional skills”. Though I believe it is essential in your professional life to get out of your comfort zone from time to time, I would offer that translating “get out of your comfort zone” to “try something new” is pretty good life advice that keeps it interesting and engaging.
The last part of this approach which I would argue is the most important…don’t wait for someone else to take you out of your comfort zone, you must seek the opportunities. You will be better for it and so will everyone around you. So what are you waiting for?