Your industry and career can take unusual twists and turns, and you should be prepared for the unexpected by continually working to develop your career. Below are six vital career development tips to keep you on your toes.
Learn What You’re Bad At
Do you have a weak spot in your professional experience? Bad at public speaking or don’t know how to use the latest programming language? Take it upon yourself to find gaps in your skills and work to fill them every day. Once you fix one shortcoming, move on to another one.
If you aren’t willing to improve yourself, your career will stagnate over time.
Learn New Things Every Day
Getting better at things you know is critical, and so is understanding stuff you don’t know. For example, if you write content for websites and don’t understand why your supervisor is demanding more social media content, ask why. Get inside knowledge about what the client wants. This investigation will help you provide better work next time. And it also will make you grasp the needs of clients down the road.
Also, make sure you keep your current skills and knowledge sharp by taking online courses regularly. It’s never been easier to learn remotely, so there’s no excuse not to do so.
Make Yourself Indispensable
Did you hear from a colleague that your boss wants a writer to write about personal injury law? Offer to tackle the task even if you don’t know anything about it. Learn everything you can about personal injury law as you handle the assignment, and do extra reading and research on the subject.
The more of these specialty areas you can learn, the more valuable you will be as an employee. If you want to leap ahead in your career, be ready to learn, improve, and adapt all the time.
Read a Ton
Whether reading a self-help book or bookmarking several industry-related blogs to read daily, everyone benefits from reading more. Don’t set the limit at just your field or specialty because you will limit your worldview.
You will always benefit from keeping on top of many industries, regardless of if it’s finance, law, healthcare, or engineering. You’ll never know when a vital piece of knowledge you picked up in an industry journal will help you get that next promotion.
Engage With Others
Do you like the Python programming skills of the worker next to you? Invite her to lunch so you can learn from her. Are you impressed with the finance industry copywriting skills of your boss? Send him an email and ask where he learned to write with such skill and flair.
When you engage with skilled professionals, you’ll open yourself up to new information and ways of thinking. They might share a critical bit of information that changes how you think or view something important. And you never know when collaboration can lead to job opportunities or even a new business idea. That’s how some of the most successful companies got started – with two people brainstorming and throwing out ideas.
Keep A Proper Work-Life Balance
Working all the time usually isn’t the key to a successful career. Keeping the right work-life balance can make the difference between an average job and a great one. Sure, you could stay at the office an extra three hours and bang out work due in three days. Or, you could go home and get a good night’s sleep so you can produce stellar work first thing in the morning.