It is easy to understand why most people long for constants. They are predictable, steady, and safe. At work, you spend a lot of time figuring out where your place is and what is expected of you. It is always easier to stay where you are and do what you always do. But how long are you going to stay in one place? Doesn’t it get boring sometimes?
The workplace is full of challenges. Yes, issues present themselves every day but maybe you chose to not have anything to do with them. But in order to achieve career growth, you must be ready to take on these challenges and risk failure, losing control, and even looking stupid. We are creatures of habit but if you want to have a successful career, challenges that come with change and uncertainty are not only necessary, they are also inevitable.
It is natural for people to associate challenges with fear. Dr. Tamar Chansky, author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety says changes at work are among life’s top stressors. This is because most people thrive in the familiar, in routines, and in their comfort zones. A minor modification in the job description will get most employees worried and anxious. Instead of rising up to the challenge, they question it. But if you want more out of the job that you do, you have to remind yourself that among the attitudes to become successful is to be fearless. Embrace these work challenges, learn, and have fun. Here is a list of common challenges in the workplace that you should face head on.
It’s a promotion! Hooray?
How can you decline a promotion? You worked hard for it and your managers think you deserve it. Everybody else wants it. Or do they? Do you?
Debra Benton, author of How to Act Like a CEO, surveyed 100 managers and asked why employees would say “no, thank you” to a career upgrade. Their answers were pretty much expected. A lot of employees feel that taking a promotion would mean greater responsibilities and longer hours, thus taking away more hours from their family. Some feel fulfilled where they are, or they feel they aren’t equipped to take on the job, they fear failure. Still others do not like the job offer and the stress, and new boss that come with it.
A promotion does mean greater responsibilities. But it is the only way that you can experience career success. This career transition allows you to understand success at a new level. A promotion will teach you new skills like delegating, mentoring, leading, and sharing. It is important to know what you are getting into and must do a careful evaluation of how your responsibilities will change. Think it through with everyone who might likely be affected — your old team, your kids, and your partner. Know that it won’t be easy but that it could be everything you’ve ever wanted.
Is that the new boss?
A new boss is always a deal breaker. Sometimes, it is an even bigger deal than the job itself. A Gallup study found that half of the employees included in the study have left a job because of horrible bosses. In short, most employees do not actually quit their jobs but they quit their bosses. So what if one day an announcement said you have to report to a new boss? While it is normal to panic and be anxious, try to calm yourself down. You need to be a positive person if you want to be successful. Stop visualizing Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada. Take this as a chance to start fresh. Take this challenge and find ways to be better. Going through a new phase like this shows your flexibility, adaptability, and how good you are as a team player. A new boss means new experiences, new things to learn, and new challenges to overcome. And who knows, you might just find yourself a new mentor who will help you achieve career growth.
There’s a new kid in town
There will always be new faces in the workplace. They could be a welcome addition or a threat. It is okay to feel like a brand new competition just walked through the door. Competition can be a good thing. Diversity is also a good thing. A workplace of different backgrounds and orientations, experienced employees and newbies, young and old, different race and color, and varying beliefs, etc. is a workplace that is full of opportunities. This is a workplace that drives innovation, adapts quickly, and thrives in creativity, mutual understanding, and an open mind. There may be challenges like varying viewpoints, getting things done together and working as a team, but nothing that can’t be conquered with respect.
The schedule challenge
Call center agents know the schedule challenge all too well. They work on shifts. This could really be life-changing in the sense that even your body clock has to adjust. Time with loved ones may also be affected. But you must sit down and consider the benefits that come with every shift. Let’s talk about the night shift, for example. That one is tough, but think about the higher pay, lighter traffic, and the long hours you have during the day. It is also an opportunity to meet more people and be part of different teams at work.
This one is a little bit more complicated than schedule. What if you are asked to be part of another team in another city, or even country? Before you go crazy, relax and think it through. Maybe an opportunity is presenting itself. If you have to spend the next six months in another city, you can think about it as work and vacation. How often does that happen? A new place means a fresh beginning, new opportunities, and new experiences. It’s like going on a trip — you are most likely to come back a better person. This is not just a challenge, this is an adventure.
Technology changes everything
Advances in technology define how work is to be done. Web and teleconferencing, cloud computing and virtual teams are among the many changes brought by technology upgrade in the workplace. It’s cost-efficient and productive. You have to learn how these things work. You really have no choice. You have to upgrade your presentations and at least know the basics in these technologies. A characteristic of a successful person is one who never stops learning.
So you failed. Now what?
Okay, so you did not meet your quota and failed miserably in one project. That is not the end of the world. Failures are part of workplace challenges that you just have to rise above from. Failures should motivate, inspire, and make you better.
Challenges present new opportunities and encourage skills growth. Do not be afraid of it. Have an open mind and try to always be positive. Next time a challenge comes knocking, you welcome it, work on it, and come out a winner.