• Sarah Eckereder

Top Career Tips Day Six: EXPERIMENT

The world isn’t changed by playing it safe and doing the same thing as yesterday. You won´t develop by doing that either – and your career likely won´t advance very far. But it can be difficult to step into the unknown and out of your comfort zone.

When you take on a demanding challenge, it´s very easy to land up in the “stress” zone instead of the “stretch” zone and find ourselves “self-talking”; telling ourselves all the reasons it won´t work, we can´t do it, it won´t be good for us, people will laugh or not like us … the list goes on. Everyone has their own personal version of their ´worst case scenario´ that looms large in dark moments.

A great way to stay in the positive “stretch” zone and keep developing yourself and your career is to actively think about new tasks or experiences that you can view as an experiment. Consider turning a challenge into your “theory” on it that you will test.

Example: You want to develop your ability to delegate. Instead of asking a team member to do something - and then spending time worrying about what is going on or when you can ask if they´ve done it (and risk getting on their nerves and giving the impression that you don’t trust them to get it done), try this. 1. Create a theory. It could be “If I ask John to do this task and leave him for 2 days without checking up on him, we will both be able to focus on what we need to more easily.”

2. Experiment! Test out your theory. You could even tell John about it. When you change your perspective to "experimenting with a theory", you naturally remove some of your own emotional involvemen. With this comes a more objective mindset. Your focus changes. Now it is about the result of the experiment – was your theory right or wrong? Either way, you will have learned something and developed.

TODAY´S TIP: Design an experiment! Think of something you would like to know the answer to and how you can test a theory.

Photo courtesy of unsplash / Jonas Verstuyft

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