Want a more exciting career? Then stop playing it so safe

February 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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Want an exciting career?  Then take on something that scares you.

A few years ago I was working in a cube living a very small life.  I worked with a handful of colleagues on 1-2 projects, had 1-2 customers and reported to 1 manager.  Small life. 

I had been doing the same kind of marketing work for several years and was good at it. My customers were pleased, my boss was satisfied, and I was receiving successful performance reviews with the normal 3% annual pay raise.  It wasn’t that anything was really wrong with my career.  It just wasn’t satisfying.  Boring.  Dull.  Lifeless

I was under-challenged. Under-motivated.  Under-valued. My career was blah.

When my big marketing project finished, my boss asked me to lead a technical project.  It was so far out of my marketing comfort zone that I would have had to take a plane to get back into my comfort zone.  It terrified me.  Everything in my bones told me this would be a mistake.  But there were two interesting components of the project –

  1. Nobody in the department had ever led a technical project before.  I would be the first.  I loved that! These opportunities didn’t come around very often working in a department of type A scary-smart men.  The thought of me being the first person in the department to do anything got my heart fluttering. 
  2. Two project managers had been on the project, and both had failed.  That’s right, failed.  That meant the probability that I would fail was higher, but it also meant that expectations were low, and the risk was low.  Plus, it also meant that if the team and I were successful the glory would be that much sweeter.

Game on!  I accepted the challenge. 

I walked in every day for the next 5 months shaking in my boots, but firing on all cylinders.  I was in the game, all day, every day.  Five months later, the project launched successfully and I was put into the IT department’s “Hall of Fame” for project management.

Want a more exciting career?  Then go stretch yourself. 

Stop playing it so safe.  Stop sitting on the bench and go get in the game.  Change positions.  Change teams. Change sports.  Do whatever it takes to start tapping into those hidden skills and talents that you don’t even know you have. You’re capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.  😀

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Right now you can download three FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

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About Career Coach Sherri Thomas
Sherri Thomas is a leading career coach who helps professionals transform and thrive in their career. She is a leading career coach, Huffington Post writer, globe trotting keynote speaker, and the 2013 Best Career Book author of “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback.” As a sought after media source, she has been featured in top news outlets including NBC-TV Phoenix, the Wall St. Journal, TIME, New York Daily News, Monster.com and many others. She loves traveling around the world and learning about other cultures, thrives in nature, and will always encourage you to go on what she calls a life changing Kenyan safari because the 30-hour flight journey “isn’t that bad.”

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