As the new year opens, how many resolutions have you set – or maybe even broken already?!?
If one of your goals for 2015 is to advance in your career, the key lies in an ongoing commitment to learning and development. There’s no time for complacency. To energize your career, you need to have a plan and start working on it today. Because, in the words of baseball legend Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else.”
Stay Attuned to Your Environment
In order to develop yourself, you’re going to have to create opportunities – and figure out how to shift your current work in the direction of what really matters to you.
- Spend time networking. Come to an understanding of how your industry – or the industry you’d like to be a part of – works and who its key decision makers are. Grow your professional contact lists, both on line and in person.
Sign Up for New Projects
Break out of your comfort zone. Meet new people and learn new things. In doing so, you will either become better at your current responsibilities or find something that you enjoy and excel at even more.
- Find a project at your company that cuts across lines of business, hierarchy and functions. Join the team. This is a better choice than deepening your skill base within a departmental silo.
- If you can’t find an enriching project at work, look for an outside role. Teach, speak or blog on topics related to your interests. Participate in professional organizations and meet with people from different companies. Increase your activity in LinkedIn and other groups.
Train on the Go
Thanks to technological advances, the possibilities are endless when it comes to professional development. Learning platforms have evolved and include myriad online options that can transform downtime into valuable learning opportunities.
- Train on your own schedule. Choose a social media platform and there will most likely be an app for whatever you want to learn. For instance, blogs and podcasts can be absorbed in small chunks of time when it’s most convenient for you. Even if you don’t have a single full hour to spare, a few shorter stints will quickly add up.
- Use travel and commute time for professional development. Driving to work is the perfect time to absorb an audiobook or other training tool. If you take public transportation, you can add video to the experience. The same holds true for travel time. If you commute or travel just an hour a day, that’s potentially 10 hours a week of focused learning time.
There’s no better way to learn than to teach. You can learn a lot about a subject by reading about it – and even more by doing it. But when you go a step further and start teaching others to do it, you learn more than you ever thought possible.
- Think about your expertise and who might benefit from it. Then become a teacher or mentor. You’ll be forced to look at things through your students’ eyes. This will make you better at what you do – and you’ll look good to current and future employers while doing so.
Do you need help with your career growth plan for 2015? Contact the career coaching experts at Employment Professionals Canada today. We’ll help you make this New Year’s resolution stick!