The Comfort Zone

They say the best way to reach out to someone is asking for his/her help. It feels good to be needed. In this case, I’m so touched that 2 people asked for my advice on the same day. One is a former co-worker. She asked for advice about a job offer – should she stay or should she go? The new job she’s being offered has better benefits, higher pay and a lighter caseload. I told her it’s a no-brainer, that she should take the job offer. But here’s the deal with her – she’s also been at her present job for a looooong time now. She knows the ins and outs and every nook and corner of the workplace. Now, others would think it’s such a boring job and it’s time to move on, look for another challenge. But for her it’s her comfort zone. Like a child refusing to leave her mother’s womb, she does not want to leave the old work place. I advised her time and again (when she did ask for advice, I never give unsolicited advices) to just leap and give it a try. She refuses.

Now she’s in a dilemma because she did accept the job offer on the spot. But when she told the current employers, she said they offered to equal the salary. But that’s all. No promise of better benefits nor lighter caseload or at least an appreciation of all the things she does. Let me tell you, this girl is overworked and underpaid and unappreciated. So this is what I told her – how about taking a 2 week leave from the current job, work at the other one and see how it goes? At least you gave it a try. Now if you did not like the other job, then you can always come back to your other one. But at least you tried.

I have yet to hear from her. It’s been 2 weeks and nothing. I did not want to bother her and think I’m pestering her or anything. But I do hope for her professional and personal growth that she’ll at least give the other job a chance. I’m not the only one who has advised her to leave. Everyone she knows advised her to jump ship a long time ago. Did she ever listen? Heck no! Which made us all think that this current workplace is her comfort zone.

What is the comfort zone really?

The comfort zone – it’s a warm and fuzzy place. A place we don’t want to ever leave. Be it the ancestral home, our home country, our old workplace. But there is a time when we need to leave. To spread our wings and fly. To see what’s out there. It is not being disloyal,  being a traitor or being greedy. It is about taking risks and trying to be the very best that we can be in circumstances different to what we were accustomed to. It is for our own personal growth, for us to live and learn from our mistakes. And to bask in success once we get there. It is part of being human.

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 6:33 pm  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is true! I’ve been on that ‘comfort zone’ area for the last 3 years. Overworked and underpaid. I gathered my guts and left to go for another job. Now I thought, why didnt I moved 2 years earlier? hahaha… and now, I’m thinking of taking the big leap. hay hirap kumita ng pera. hahaha…

  2. Hi Lizzz,
    I’m so glad you made the leap. It is indeed hard sometimes to take a risk. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? 😉
    Best of luck to your new job!

  3. I too am in my comfort zone. Family support is abundant, monetary gains just enough for us to get by. I am having second thoughts about teaching abroad because I don’t want to to have debts as much as 10k. USD. That much. But if I take the “leap” more dreams would probably be fulfilled.

    What say you, Mary?

  4. Julie,
    I emailed you privately as my reply closely resembles a telenovela script.
    Thanks for sharing your input and thanks for asking my 2 cents worth.
    For now all I can say is – $10K???? No freaking way! That is way too much money!

  5. I think you gave her very good advice, to try out the place first. Mahirap ding sabihin that the new job would automatically be better because maybe she won’t get along with the people there.

  6. Thanks for the email you sent Mary. Read it twice and it definitely hits a nerve. Will be emailing you shortly.

    Take care…

  7. @Christianne: Thanks, a mutual friend and co-worker of ours thinks so too. It’s really hard isn’t it? Getting along with co-workers is such a big factor in the workplace.

    @Julie: Anytime, Julie! Basta ikaw! 😉

  8. I agree with Christianne. I think you gave her good advice.

    Personally, I like being in the comfort zone. Sometimes my weakness is the fear of risk and venturing into new and untested water.

  9. Rach, thanks. I think so too. At least it’ll give her a chance to try something without burning bridges or making the commitment when she’s not ready yet. Less scary for her, I hope.
    It is pretty scary – the unknown and what lies beneath, isn’t it?

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