General Journalism / Inspiration and Editors

Taking one challenge in your career could literally change everything.

Being comfortable is really, really easy. And for the sake of this blog post, I guess the focus is your job – being comfortable with the people you work with, the work you do, the place you work, and everything else that comes with it. But being comfortable in any aspect of your lives – where you live, where you go on holiday, who you meet up with – it’s all pretty easy.

I saw a quote recently, and no matter how slightly cringeworthy it sounds, it makes sense, and applies to me completely.

“You can’t spell challenge without change.”

Seems obvious, right? I’ve never liked change. I’ve always found it this big massive nuisance that takes a while to get my head around, and sometimes just slightly wish back what I had before, just because that was comfortable. And easy. And didn’t make me think twice. I probably realised this when I reached 18 and had to start applying for university. I mean, I’d gone to the follow-on secondary school with all my primary school friends, and stayed at said secondary school to their 6th form college, not even thinking about branching out to a different one (would it have been better? Probs), and then I get to this point at 18 where I’m like ‘wow, things are really going to change’. And they did, and it was really, really fun and good and a challenge and yes it took a while to get used to, but it was the best.

But I didn’t really choose to do that, it was kinda chosen for me, in an indirect way. Yes I was going to go to university, and the only good uni which did the course I wanted to do was five hours up north. So that happened.

Sometimes we don’t take up new challenges because things DO change. The comfortable, easy lifestyle that we might have with a certain job will change, and ‘is it worth it?’. I found myself in a job a year ago which was comfortable, and pretty straightforward. My commute was easy, the job was near home and yet was still kick-starting my journalism career, the work was pretty much stress-free, I knew what I was doing, I was happy with it, it wasn’t massively demanding and I didn’t think about it when I left the office at 5.30pm. Because I didn’t need to. Definition? I was massively comfortable.

But I realised, with other friends and family around me taking big leaps and making new decisions, that I didn’t feel challenged. I enjoyed my job, it was what I wanted to do, but I didn’t find it hard, and, after a while I wasn’t learning new things. The thought of getting a new job that was challenging and might mean I would have to move, commute, and start a new fresh with a completely new set of colleagues and lifestyle was pretty scary. But I did it. I went from an easy 20 minute drive to a job that wasn’t straining, to a two-hour commute in the city to a job that was fast-paced, demanding, tested my knowledge of journalism, forced me to use new skills, and was completely different. And exciting.

I think taking up new challenges can feel like you’re taking a risk, because you don’t know if you’re going to like it. But in a job which is much more demanding on my skills has taught me massive amounts. It’s taught me about my writing, the workplace, brought alive the multimedia journalist in me, and I’m still learning, every day. I’ve found out new things about myself, and although there might be days where I’m yearning to be back in that office that didn’t give me a headache because I just have a to-do list the size of 2 A4 pages, I look forward to the days where I learn more, achieve more, and give myself a pat on the back.

So if you’re wondering whether to take that next step, try something new, or challenge yourself. Do it. Because self-achievement feels pretty damn good.

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