May 10, 2019

Courage Over Comfort

Do you believe in serendipity- events that happen by chance?

I recently went through a growth journey at work that started with a realization that I wasn’t being true to myself and what I wanted in my work life. I was merely going through the motions day in and day out. And although I had a title I had worked hard for, and a great salary, I was miserable. And then sitting under the stars one night thinking about life, I had a very surreal moment in which it occurred to me that I was responsible for making my work a place where I could add value, where I could learn and grow and have a positive impact on others; or I could choose to stay in the same place feeling stuck, surrounded by dysfunction and low morale. But the choice was mine to make.

This epiphany, realizing that I wasn’t happy and that I wanted more, and that it was my choice to step out of my current situation and look for it, kick-started what I can only consider to be a series of serendipitous events.

Ten days after this aha moment, I was leaving a meeting heading back to my office when my coworker asked me to come to an interview with her. Although I had no desire to go, she convinced me otherwise. As I sat through the interview I heard about culture and employee engagement and the importance of people at work. By the end of the hour and a half, I was sitting straight up on the edge of my seat, totally tuned in. I took this message to heart. This is what I wanted.

Less than one week later, I went to a networking event and realizing the session I wanted to go to was full, I peeked into the next room, noticing it was also filling up quickly. I grabbed a seat, opened the agenda, and learned the session was called “How to have your best day at work, and in your career.” Coincidence?

Very quickly did I realize that the women leading the session were part of the same organization from the interview the week prior. They too were talking about what an indescribable journey they had been on, and how their work and their day to day was transformed by creating an environment that focused on recognition and gratitude, which built trust, which resulted in job and personal satisfaction. These women were so authentic and proud of what they had accomplished, but they were also reiterating the experience that I was wanting. Listening to them, it wasn’t just words about what it could be like. They were sharing a true experience.

It was at the end of that day, that I tidied up my resume, and hit up my network in pursuit of what I wanted my work to be. A short time later I am interviewing for other jobs, but my focus is not on the job title, rather it is on the value of the people in the department, the culture, and the atmosphere.

Now, maybe there is no such thing as serendipity and these events were unrelated. But a year and a half later, I find myself working for the gentleman from the interview. I am working in a new environment that is pursuing that same journey, and when focusing on people, I find myself once again enjoying my daily work life. I feel so fortunate that I took the courageous leap and dared myself to be vulnerable to see what else was out there. I believe everyone deserves the best life for themselves, and the fact that it is a choice that we get to make is powerful knowledge. As Brene Brown said, “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both.” Take the courageous leap, step out of your comfort zone and see what opportunities exist. You might be surprised by what you find.

From your friends at BestDayHR