A new season of “Dancing with the Stars” is upon us, which means only one thing. Lots of talk about stepping (literally!) outside of your comfort zone. That’s the whole premise of DWTS. Successful, accomplished celebrities taking on the new challenge of dancing in the hopes of winning a gaudy disco ball trophy.
One of the reasons that DWTS is so popular is because it shows us that successful people don’t know everything. But they are willing to try. All it takes is a realistic plan, a positive attitude, and the understanding that sometimes you just might fall down.
As business professionals we need to realize that, to stay fresh and ‘in the game’, we have to step outside of our own comfort zones. I can’t tell you how many times I hear my fellow HR peeps say that they ‘aren’t numbers people’ or they ‘don’t like to sell’. The bottom line is to be successful in HR you need to sell and you need to know numbers. So it’s time to step outside your comfort zone to get familiar with it.
Here are two tips to get you started:
Be Proactive – If there is something you need to try to help you grow as a professional, when the opportunity presents itself…go for it. Maybe it’s an assignment at work or an educational seminar that you want to attend. When I first started in human resources, I sometimes had to personally pay to attend conferences. The company would give me the time off, but they couldn’t afford the registration fee. If you always wait for the perfect moment to do something, it might never arrive.
Use Volunteerism to Gain Experience – You can use volunteer opportunities to gain valuable experience. Want to learn more about technology? Volunteer to be the webmaster for a local non-profit. Looking for more hands-on financial experience or selling experience? Offer to help as a treasurer or making phone calls to raise money. You might even have committees within your own company that you can sign up for to expand certain skills.
As far as DWTS goes, I’ve never really been a devotee of the show but did watch on/off last season because (then) local football hero Jason Taylor was a contestant. But, I might have to check out this season to see how Chef Rocco DiSpirito does…now that’s stepping outside of your comfort zone!