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No. 753 / Familiarity

People continue working at their toxic jobs because it feels familiar. Organizations and systems fail because they’re filled with people eager to do what they did yesterday.

But this is how we’ve been trained. We like the feeling when we’ve done something successfully or efficiently. And our competence is usually rewarded.

So when change comes knocking, we resist. Because change is unfamiliar. And change creates incompetence.

The solution, however, is simple (not easy). If you want to build a growth-based career, learn to become content with the unfamiliar. If you want to build an organization that thrives in (and on) change, hire people who seek the unfamiliar. Train them to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And help them realize that change isn’t a scary word; that change should be viewed as a challenge—something to conquer.

Swimmers like getting wet. Skydivers aren’t afraid of heights. Skiers like going downhill when it’s cold. Perhaps we can view change the same way.