professional growth

As we get increasingly engrossed in our daily routine it is easy to get stuck in a rut. There are times when we fail to even recognize the fact that we may have in fact become stationary. In today’s day and age, this is an extremely risky state to be in. Rapidly changing technology and trends that change before you blink makes it necessary to adapt to this changing environment just as quickly. It is for this reason that it is extremely important to be constantly aware and stay motivated to keep working on and improving one’s own skillset to stay relevant.

Very much like science, it is quite simple to shake off that inertia and keep moving forward, all it requires is a little push in the right direction. So, let us get into it and find ways to keep moving forward creating new career milestones.

Stay alert. Keep a close watch on the environment around you. Opportunities seldom just come along; they have to be created. Understand your organization, how it works, how it makes money and how everyone fits into the system. If you arm yourself with this knowledge you can align the work you do to go in the right direction. Apart from this obvious benefit, this also enables you to identify and create opportunities where gaps exist.

Step outside your comfort zone. We all get comfortable within our own designations and job descriptions. For growth we need to step out. We need to venture out from the areas of our expertise and experiment with different skills and problem areas. Cross-functional exposure is a great way to encourage multi-functional learning in the workplace. As an employer you can promote your employees to explore and discover ongoing projects outside their functions. This can not only give a unique out of the box perception but also foster a collaborative environment.

Carve out some designated learning time. We all know the importance of planning our days. While we always remember to highlight the important tasks, we should start considering the importance of consistently setting aside time to read more and expand our knowledge base. Follow and read up on industry trends, opinion leaders and so on. It is harder to forget growing when you make it a habit.

Never stop strategizing. No matter how straightforward a job function is, always approach it with an analytical mind rather than just doing what is told. Strategizing will not only help you understand and plan your approach but will also help you constantly innovate. Who knows it can lead to the next big idea that revolutionizes the way the entire organization works.

Join a community of learning. When you are isolated, it can easily lead to becoming stagnant as you can see the need for growth. Joining communities of like-minded professionals passionate about honing their skills can prove to be a rich source of motivation. Such communities also encourage collaboration while results in innovation and a growing network. As constant growth requires a lot of work and energy, we often overlook it because of plain old laziness. Be it for individuals or large organizations (take kodak for example), this state of inertia can be extremely damaging. Adapting and evolving are the key to flourishing in this dynamic environment. So don’t stop challenging yourself and constantly finding new milestones to achieve. Keep growing and learning.