CEO to young people: Apply for jobs you're not qualified for

Erika Nardini, the chief executive of Barstool Sports
Andrew Toth | Getty Images

According to self-made millionaires, your level of success may boil down to how willing you are to step outside of your comfort zone.

Perhaps that's why Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini advises young people to apply for the jobs they want, even if they don't necessarily have the credentials.

"Any young person should, at some point, take a job that makes them uncomfortable and that they feel unqualified for," she tells Adam Bryant in an interview with The New York Times. "It's really great to feel uncomfortable, and you change so much as a person from that."

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who helped break a 108-year championship drought last year when his team clinched the 2016 World Series, has a similar perspective on the value of embracing discomfort.

Joe Maddon, manager of the Chicago Cubs
Jim McIsaac | Getty Images

Maddon, whose new challenge is to win back-to-back titles, has one objective for his team this season: "This year, I want our guys to be uncomfortable," he tells David Axelrod on his Axe Files podcast.

"You really want to avoid the potential for complacency," continues Maddon. The manager is known for his themed road trips, which serve as a way for his players to find "comfort in the uncomfortable," ESPN reports.

"If you're uncomfortable, growth continues. If you're comfortable, growth diminishes," he says.

It's really great to feel uncomfortable, and you change so much as a person from that.
Erika Nardini
Barstool Sports CEO

Research backs up Nardini and Maddon. According to Richard St. John, who interviewed hundreds of highly motivated and accomplished individuals for his book "The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common," the world's highest achievers are never complacent. They don't stick to what's familiar or safe.

Successful people push themselves and are always improving, "whether it's their career, project, product or service," St. John writes. In other words, they're always uncomfortable, and it helps.

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