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When does your comfort zone impede your growth

Posted by Michele Rogers on August 17, 2021 at 10:15 AM

Michele Rogers at an event


We often find it hard to step out of our “comfort zones” and enter our “growth zone”. Our Client Service Account Director, Michele Rogers takes you through her journey from an event manager to a client-facing position.

Why is it so difficult to leave your comfort zone and grab every opportunity as it comes along? After all, it’s what’s holding you back and making you realise your potential and the opportunities in front of you. 

Goalcast, an inspiring online community to help you with all aspects of life says, “Without the proper motivation, we’re willing to stay in a situation that doesn’t make us completely happy, for fear that the discomfort we’ll feel by stepping outside of our current circumstances will be greater than the discontent we feel now, however unfulfilled we are.”

Michele Rogers, our Client Service Account Director and previous event manager, explains why her comfort zone kept her from realising her potential and experiencing growth and success. We did a little Q and A with her!

Q1 Tell us about your journey at Penquin. 

I’ve been working at a lot of companies before Penquin within the exhibition and events industries and I studied Event Management, Public Relations, and Sales and Marketing Management. I’ve travelled a lot and have had the privilege to work in different countries with my extensive background. I started my journey at Penquin in the production department managing events and activations back in 2019 and I haven’t looked back once! In 2020, I moved into the client services department and it has been quite exciting working on different brands. I’m enjoying working with different clients as it tests my skills on numerous levels. Penquin allows me to still work hard, and put in extra hours where needed but gives me a great work-life balance. It’s my family!

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Q2 Why did you decide to move from an event manager to client service?

I moved from focusing on events to the client services department as COVID-19 brought along many challenges in the events and activations industry. I immediately saw this as a great opportunity as I enjoy relationship building and getting to know clients better. I also enjoy doing Penquin’s internal marketing and feel like it gives me a healthy balance between the two departments.

The events industry has taken a hard knock from the coronavirus pandemic, and we needed to make some quick changes in our events department. We especially felt this pressure when we had to turn a client event into a virtual event in a matter of 48 hours at the start of the pandemic. This is not something we have done in the past, so we had to learn to make use of new technology and processes while keeping our clients happy at the same time. We strive to bring our clients awesome virtual event ideas that are great experiences on a different level. We keep going!

Q3 Why and when should you leave your “comfort zone” in your career and enter your “growth zone”?

According to Positive Psychology, an online research platform, “The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.” Within the comfort zone, there isn’t much incentive for people to reach new heights of performance. It’s here that people go about routines devoid of risk, causing their progress to plateau.”

My growth at Penquin happened during the hard lockdown. I was in a “comfort zone” and familiar with doing live events and activations, but virtual events are another ball game! I built great relationships with my clients, and they believed in me. This made me realise that I had to be open to new opportunities and learn new things. My growth has really come from taking time to educate myself and present proactive ideas to the team. I’m experiencing new things in my personal life and that has given me a new outlook on my personal and work lives. I’ve been thrown out of my comfort zone having many sleepless nights and anxiety, but I’ve experienced many new things, and I’m in my “happy place”. 

Here are some tips to get out of your comfort zone, too:

Tips to get out of your comfort zone 

Q4 Why is it a bad idea to stay in your “comfort zone”?

Growth doesn’t start in a comfort zone - it’s too familiar. You have one life and you need to challenge yourself and try new things. Ask yourself: What is your perspective of growth? Am I challenging myself enough? Am I putting myself in different scenarios? Growth is exciting, and what you make of it - everyone’s journey is different. Take a breath and stop!

Q5 What are your learnings from your “comfort zone”?

I have become more resilient and stronger than I was before. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed. 

Q6 What does your growth momentum look like, and when does leadership start?

Growth for me means doing something entirely new and learning new things every day. I’m excited to build new relationships and prove what I’m capable of. That’s my growth! Momentum means carrying on and taking each day as it comes. 

Leadership means managing people and help them in different situations. Listening is a key skill in every department. Treat everyone with kindness and learn as you go along. 

If you’d like to learn more about our virtual events, book a time with me!

Contact Michele

Topics: Marketing, Events, virtual

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