5 career adventures everyone should try at least once in their life

11 June, 2024

Discover five career experiences that will push you out of your comfort zone and into a world of growth and excitement.

Don’t get us wrong. Being in your comfort zone is great. That’s why we call them comfort zones in the first place. So, by all means. Find yours and learn to enjoy it. However, too much of a good thing is bad for you. Spending too much time in your comfort zone gets tiresome and boring and hinders your potential. In order to realize it, you need to test yourself, try new things, risk getting rejected or even fail. In the words of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, we must become antifragile. Even science says so! Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things helps your mental health and even helps to retain our cognitive abilities. So, you should seek new adventures in both your personal and professional lives. If you don’t know where to start, here are five career adventures everyone should try at least once.

Get a Job in a different country

Working in a different country will quite literally get you out of your comfort zone. Being in a brand new environment where almost no one speaks your native language and doesn’t share your cultural background, will undoubtedly be a transformative experience that will broaden your horizons and enhance both your life and professional skills.

The modern world is truly global. Borders and distances simply don’t mean as much as they used to. You can either be fearful about this, or see it as an enormous opportunity to sharpen your problem-solving skills and develop a global mindset. Yes, moving to another country can be challenging and even scary, but the process of navigating through different business practices and social norms will definitely help you grow both as a person and professional.

There are currently 3,5 billion jobs in the world. It’s very likely that the one you’re dreaming about just happens to be open somewhere abroad. Quite possibly in a country you’ve never thought that much about. Let’s say… in Lithuania. Under the radar, it became a rather attractive place full of innovative companies and promising startups.

Join a startup

Speaking of startups… You should definitely join one at least once in your lifetime. Yes, we know. Working for an established, well-known company has significant benefits. Like stability and predictability. In contrast, the world of startups seems to be hectic, chaotic, and transient. Too risky! Even the numbers say so. 90% of all startups fail. 10% of them within the first year.

At the same time, the predictability of a large company can be suffocating and limiting. Meanwhile, startups are a unique work environment where you can learn as quickly and broadly as anywhere else. Small companies require employees to wear multiple hats, providing them with a diverse range of experiences and rapid skill development. The fast-paced and innovative nature of startups can be incredibly stimulating and rewarding.

And no, it’s not too late for you. You’d be wrong to think that startups are exclusively young people’s game. Yes, young employees compose a huge bulk of the startup workforce, but successful new companies are typically led by more experienced people. In fact, a study shows that a 60-year-old is 3x as likely to build a successful startup than a 30-year-old.

Execute a Stealth Job Search While You Are Still Working Full-Time

If you’re unsatisfied with your work, relax. You’re not the only one. In fact, you’re more of a norm than an outlier. Statistics show that more than half of workers are unhappy with their jobs. As for the happy ones… Only one in three can claim that they are fully engaged in their work. If things are so bad, why do people stay? Well, there are many reasons, but the most common ones are fear of the unknown, financial obligations, comfort and familiarity and lack of self-confidence.

Now wonder why at first we had quiet quitting, and why it later evolved into resenteeism. It’s a growing trend where employees continue working in roles they find dissatisfying because they either can’t find a better-suited job or think they won’t be able to. But the thing is… You actually can! The job vacancy rate – the proportion of total posts that are vacant – in the EU is currently 2,5%. And in the fields such as software development or engineering it’s even higher.

So there are many opportunities. You just need to grab them! And you don’t have to quit your job to find a new one. If you’re already practising quiet quitting, use your time for job hunting. The process, known as a stealth job search, involves discreetly exploring new opportunities without compromising your current position. Yes, it requires some planning, excellent time management, discretion, and energy. However, not as much as resenteeism…

Pursue further education

Yes, it’s a cliche, but that doesn’t make it less true… We live in an era of the knowledge economy. It’s the ability to learn new skills and adapt that makes people successful in today’s world. We don’t want to frighten you, but according to the report by investment bank Goldman Sachs, approx. 300 mln. jobs will become obsolete by the year 2030 due to the growth of Artificial Intelligence

We will never be as productive as AI. It’s simply unrealistic. What we can do is to be more creative, and more flexible. Humans have an uncanny ability to adapt. In fact, adaptability was the key reason for homo sapiens’ success. What do we mean by the word adaptability? Simple. Be open to new experiences, read a lot, consume media and art that are unfamiliar (or even uninteresting) to you, learn new skills, and experiment.

Educating yourself in this way will undoubtedly open new doors and enhance your career prospects. Whether it’s obtaining a new certification, pursuing a degree, or attending workshops, lifelong learning keeps you competitive and allows for continuous personal growth. And for your well-being as well! Studies show that learning literally helps your brain keep healthy.

Teach or Mentor Someone

Learning goes both ways. Living in an era of the knowledge economy also means sharing your knowledge with others. There are so many reasons to engage in teaching or mentoring. It’s a great way to solidify your own knowledge, develop your leadership and communications skills, and experience the joy of helping others achieve their goals.

Not sure that you have something to contribute? Have you ever heard about The Protege Effect? It’s a psychological phenomenon where teaching, pretending to teach, or preparing to teach information to others helps you learn that information. In other words, the best way to learn something for yourself is to teach! Teaching others can also lead to additional benefits, such as improved communication skills, increased confidence, and improved leadership ability.

So, stop playing shy. Step out of your comfort zone and teach someone. Sharing your knowledge and experience through teaching or mentoring can be a deeply rewarding experience. It allows you to contribute to someone else’s growth while reinforcing your own understanding and expertise. And remember, mentorship also enhances your leadership skills and provides a fresh perspective on your own career.

Turning Thought Into Action

Each of these career adventures offers a unique chance to expand your horizons and develop new skills. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you’ll find new strengths and opportunities. Start your adventure today and see where it takes you!