Why Your Comfort Zone is Letting You Down

Why Your Comfort Zone is Letting You Down

by Chris Atkinson in career
If you can’t remember the last time you felt like you were outside your comfort zone, then chances are it was a considerable time ago.  

Staying within a physical, emotional or behavioural place where we feel ‘safe’ is a natural human reaction, and existing in these spaces is something most of us do without a second thought. 

But, when you stay within your career comfort zone for too long, this can ultimately produce negative results. When you get too comfortable, your career can stop progressing, and all too often, this happens without the employee realising. 

After working with many pharmaceutical, medical device and life science candidates who have reached out to us because they want to step out of their comfort zone and get their careers back on track, I have a good understanding of the signs to look out for which could indicate that your comfort zone is getting in the way of your career. 

Here I will outline the signs to look out for that could indicate that your comfort zone is harming your career, and at the end of the article, I will go through how to take action to combat this. 

You Accept Your Future 

First of all, think back to when you started your pharma or medical device career – how eager were you to excel in your role?  

Many of the candidates I work with are at a point in their career where they are going through a significant change; either their first pharmaceutical role or a promotion to a higher position. 

Candidates at this stage of their careers feel as though they are in the driving seat of their career – their career aspirations are mapped out in front of them, and they are in control of how long it will take to progress to each milestone. 
Unfortunately, after an employee meets a certain number of milestones in their career, their aspiration for the future can often appear to dissolve

How long do you see yourself staying with your current employer? If the answer is a significant amount of time, is this through choice, or out of necessity? Is it because you believe your employer recognises your potential, or because the thought of applying for a new job goes against the grain of your current comfortable position? 

Accepting that your career is already mapped out with your current employer, even if you believe they are helping you reach your full potential, is one of the first indications that your comfort zone could be halting your professional progress. 

You Have Disengaged From Your Goals 

Aside from your long-term career plans, the inability to recognise, and have the desire to meet career goals, can be another red flag.  

In your pharmaceutical or medical devices career, you should have both short and long-term goals. As a Regional Sales Manager, you should be eager to meet your monthly sales goals; as a Product Specialist, your desire to continually improve product utilisation should be an essential aspect of regular reviews with your manager.  

The safety of your comfort zone can stop you from pushing yourself not just to meet but to beat your targets. If you feel as though you have lost interest in achieving your objectives, this is another sign that you may have become ‘too comfortable’ with your current role.  

Development is Less Possible Within Your Comfort Zone

Training and development is a crucial part of every pharma and medical devices career. New technologies are introduced and continuously implemented in these two cutting-edge sectors.  

Machine learning and artificial intelligence in the pharma sector, and medical device innovations such as robotic surgery, health wearables and 3-D printing, are just some examples of the latest technology that is disrupting these sectors.  

Constant learning and developing your skills to keep abreast of the rapid changes within the sector should be an essential part of your career goals; again, this is something which will suffer if you continue to stay well within your comfort zone. 

Yes, it might feel safe staying in a role than you have become an expert in, but if the position can’t offer you anything more in terms of your development, it might be time to consider a move. 

How to Shake Up Your Comfort Zone 

Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t always mean leaving your team or your company. You can exercise your career courage within your current company, or, if you realise that it is your current role that is causing your stagnation from an over-familiar territory, there are ways to solve this issue too. 

How to get out of your comfort zone while staying within the same company- 

  • If you lack direction in your current role and feel as though you are just ‘going through the motions’ due to it being a long time since you and your line manager discussed your objectives – ask your manager for a one-to-one and explain that you feel as though you are being underutilised, or that you need different or slightly more challenging targets or workloads.  
  • See if you can take on extra responsibilities at work: perhaps your manager can assign you some more senior tasks, or maybe you can help a colleague with a project which is unlike anything you have undertaken before.  
  • Switch up your routine at work. If you work in a large lab or medical device centre, take a visit to a department that you don’t normally work in. Talking to new people and investing some time in other areas of the company that you wouldn’t usually pay attention to can give you a fresh perspective on your organisation.   

However, if after reading this article you now realise that it is your current role and company that have facilitated your comfort zone and is preventing your career from progressing, then it might be time to consider some different career options. Talk to pharmaceutical or medical devices recruiter like Kinetic to discuss the opportunities that are available to you. 

How Kinetic Can Help 

Kinetic source professionals locally and internationally for leading multinational, regional and local Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices companies, including Consumer Healthcare organisations.   

As such, we understand the niche requirements for all specialisms of this ever-increasing regulated industry. To find out more about how we can help you in landing your next career progression, contact us today.  


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