Embracing Change and Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Rob Nunn, Talent Director at Instant Impact shares his recent experience of stepping out of his comfort zone which reminded him of the importance of embracing new experiences and challenges. 



Written by Rob Nunn, Talent Director


I left my last “Sales” role 16 and a half years ago, in some part because I didn’t feel I was any good at it. Mainly though, it was because I enjoyed the operational side of recruitment more than chasing the Sales.  

And as a Talent Director, my days usually involve optimising recruitment strategies, developing talent pipelines, and facilitating operational efficiencies, among a multitude of other fun activities.  

So, when I was asked to help on a sales process, I hesitated. The request involved preparing and presenting a sales slide deck to a potential customer, a responsibility that lay far from my usual scope of work. And not having delved into the sales arena for over 15 years, this felt like I was stepping far outside my comfort zone. I’m operational, not sales, so what could I offer to this process?  

In my role, I’ve done countless presentations, but they were distinctly different from this one. My usual audience is internal, familiar faces and colleagues who understand the intricacies of talent acquisition. This time, I was tasked to present to external clients, a situation that carried with it a new level of pressure and expectations. The difference lay in the fact that the outcome of my presentation could directly influence the company's growth and success. 

However, this sudden change presented me with an opportunity to lean on my existing skills as a Talent Director while learning new ones. I quickly realised that although the context was different, the underlying principles remained the same. Whether it was pitching to potential hires or to clients, the goal was to effectively communicate the value that we, as an organisation, bring to the table. 

The key to successfully transitioning to this unfamiliar territory was collaboration. I found myself working closely with the Growth Team, a function that I had not previously collaborated with, beyond hearing about their activities in weekly updates. The exchange of ideas, knowledge, and expertise provided a rich learning environment. It allowed me to understand the dynamics of the sales process, the need to identify client needs accurately, and the art of tailoring our offerings to match these needs. 

Each member brought unique insights and perspectives, which contributed to a richer and more comprehensive sales pitch. I was able to harness my skills in talent acquisition - understanding people, their motivations, and their needs - and apply them to this new context. Just as we strive to find the perfect match between candidate and role in talent acquisition, we sought to pair our services perfectly with the potential customer's needs. 

The experience was akin to a refresher course, a quick dip into an unfamiliar pool that was invigorating and eye-opening. It pushed me to tap into latent skills, acquire new ones, and build relationships outside of my usual sphere. 

In the end, it wasn't just about developing a sales presentation; it was about stepping outside my comfort zone, embracing change, and growing both personally and professionally. It reminded me that the walls of our comfort zones are not rigid but elastic, and we can stretch them to encompass new experiences and challenges. 

Embracing this challenge reaffirmed my belief in continuous learning and adaptability, two pillars that are essential for success in today's ever-evolving corporate world. It is through experiences like these that we can break away from our self-imposed limitations and discover new horizons. 

So, next time you’re faced with a challenge that sits outside your comfort zone, I urge you to embrace it. Use your existing skills, learn from others, and remember - growth happens when we’re willing to venture into the unknown.