This world is filled with people who are happy staying comfortable. I would even go as far to say that people reach for comfort as a goal — I was one of them until a while ago.

That’s when I made the decision to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone.  I accepted a position in commercial banking - a brand new sector of work that I had next to no experience in.

It was a long road from late January 2017, when some past fatherly wisdom crept into my head, to early October 2017, when I accepted my position at First Business Bank. My dad’s advice was “Never get comfortable.” I had a decent-paying job, which brought continual success, while making a manageable living for my wife and 15-month-old daughter. Why would I leave that behind? In early February of last year, after grabbing lunch with my dad to talk about a potential career change, he shared with me,

“It is nearly impossible to grow in any aspect of your life by staying comfortable.”

Those words were embedded in my brain for the majority of 2017. As weeks turned into months, I realized comfort shouldn’t trump opportunity.

Fast forward to early October when I accepted the job offer from First Business Bank. The offer checked all the boxes my wife and I needed to move forward logistically for this career move. Most importantly, however, it gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone.

I had the intuition and did my due diligence to see that the culture at First Business was among the best in Wisconsin. I knew they had all the elements in place to make their employees succeed. Ultimately how much success I would have in this new venture would be up to myself and myself alone.

I started day one with the mindset to be a dry sponge, work hard, and show my worth. Three months into my new role here, there have been plenty of days where my head feels like the size of Texas, but I haven’t regretted my decision for a single second.

The people at First Business Bank truly make the difference. I cannot wait to continue growing professionally in an organization that values their employees from the ground up. It seems like every week there is at least one company-wide email with someone getting a promotion, which is validation that the culture here is perfect for me. Working with devoted professionals in a business that recognizes their hard work seems so basic, yet it’s often difficult to find.

My challenge to you:

  • Find satisfaction with where you’re at, but don’t be content to stay there.
  • Surround yourself with people who are great at what they do, and that will push you to become the best you can be.
  • Seek out leaders and mentor who care about your individual success.

Whether you are a young professional like myself or have 20+ years of workforce experience, make sure you set goals, strive for growth, expand your learning base, and, most importantly, don’t get comfortable.