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Want to succeed in your career? Get uncomfortable

Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder FinnKathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn
Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder FinnCourtesy of Ruder Finn, Inc.

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What is one piece of advice all millennials should take before entering the workforce? is written by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.

Take a giant leap! Put yourself in a tough position, don’t be afraid to feel uncomfortable and do something that you thought you couldn’t.

When I was beginning my career, I thought hard about what I was passionate about and how I could bring a unique perspective to that passion. For instance, I loved global business and knew I wanted to work internationally. So, I asked myself: what skillset could I develop that would set me a part from everyone else? And that’s when I decided to learn Chinese and Russian. It was difficult, but knowing several languages gave me the competitive edge I needed to succeed.

I encourage all millennials to set their own personal stretch goal – conquer something challenging and unique. Even more importantly, make conquering challenges a common practice. A lot can be gained from pursuing new opportunities that make you feel uneasy. Learn to push through and stay focused on getting the job done. The best way to discover your full potential is to constantly find new ways to expand and grow. Today, more than ever, innovative thinking is crucial to success. Embed this idea into your DNA, because embracing it early will provide a solid foundation for the rest of your career.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What is one piece of advice all millennials should take before entering the workforce?

Listen to your gut — it could make you CEO one day by Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint Water.

Why millennials have the power to change the workplace — for good by Lauren Stiller Rikleen, President of Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership.

Why passion may not be enough to build a successful career by Sarah Leary, co-founder and vice president of marketing and operations at Nextdoor.

How to build a career, not just a job by Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Best lesson from your first job: discovering your weaknesses by Ann Marie Petach, Senior Managing Director of Solutions Group at BlackRock.

3 ways to get noticed at work by Liz Wiseman, President of Wiseman Group.

Can millennials revolutionize business? by Erica Dhawan, co-author of “Get Big Things Done” and CEO of Cotential.

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