Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comfort Zone? What Comfort Zone?

Image from
The CEO of my former employer LOVED pushing people out of their comfort zones. He was always asking more of those around him, be it staff, vendors, even (or should I say "especially") clients. He encourages people to stretch themselves, to try new things, and then they'd get hooked on that feeling they'd get when they succeeded at something completely out of their box. It's one of the reasons why people love him -- he somehow convinces people that change is good, and that they have talents that can be used in more ways than currently being used.

I have determined that even though I am nearly two years into my new gig at Gillette Children's, I am still outside of my comfort zone.

It happened when someone on my staff asked me a question related to the work I used to do. The conversation went from, "Are there lists available with this kind of information?" to a discussion about statistical modeling, the effectiveness of behavioral selects over demographic selects, and so on and so forth into all kinds of industry jargon.

I couldn't believe how quickly and easily I spewed information that's in my head from the work that I used to do but hadn't for nearly 2 years. It was easy. It was instinctive.

It was comfortable.

That's when I realized it -- what I do nearly every day here at Gillette is out of my comfort zone.

What are good incentives for our employee giving campaign? What worked in the past? Let's see what we can come up with.

How do we measure the success of a stewardship event for major gift prospects?  I don't know off the top of my head. Let's find out.

Which is the best month to host a fundraising event? Let me do some research on that and get back to you.

And guess what? I'm loving it.

I am learning new things every day, and expanding my experience to include new "key skills" that weren't on my résumé previously. I am glad to be in a place where I can dabble in all kinds of projects I didn't have direct experience in but have the skills to take on.

Guess what's happening to my comfort zone? It's getting larger. And that's a good thing.

Graphic from JewelDiamondTaylor:


  1. Anonymous3:42 PM

    Sounds like that CEO you mentioned was a mean guy!

  2. Actually it was like working for a personal career coach. He's an awesome mentor.