How to Keep Growing in Your Career
The assumption we’re going to make at the outset is that you know you have to keep growing in your career. If you want a frightening metaphor, think of swimming in a rising tide, where you absolutely understand why you have to be fit enough to live with the increasingly difficult conditions you find yourself in.
The word learning has become very much in vogue in the last 20 years. You often hear the term ‘lessons learnt’. Maybe you’ve heard it so often that you raise your eyebrows in exasperation when you do. Underlying that phrase however is a fundamental issue, which is that learning in every aspect of your life, every day, will inform the future you. Therefore, you want your learning to be imaginative, creative and fun.
When you do something well, it’s the result of lots of practice and an understanding of where you’ve done it in the past, or, in other words, where you’ve learnt it from. If you switch on your radar right now, you will see that learning for both you and for others could be better, could be improved. The more we watch, the more we see and the more learn. Interesting as we are, we become even more so by taking an interest in other people and in ourselves. Learning has such energy in it that it’s absolutely imperative that we get into the habit. In learning are inspiration and the chance for us to be infused with energy and drive. Put some effort into learning in any field and a valuable end product will come out somehow. It’s a very simple input-output equation.
For the most part, we live in a society that doesn’t yet fully grasp the importance of continuous learning and that’s understandable. There is the common belief that learning is something we did at school and university and that when we left to embark upon a full time career, the learning stopped as soon as we stopped being students. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we want to have a fulfilling a successful career, whatever that may mean to us, we have to be consistently finding areas of development to work on. These areas can be found in the various situations and the various stages of our career. There is absolutely no doubt that every single person can learn at any age; it’s just a question of whether they understand that and ask for the opportunity to.
If you’re involved in the pursuit of a technical qualification or a vocational one, you have a very structured learning process. If you want to be a skilled professional, it’s quite probable that whoever gives you the chance to be one will think about giving you the necessary skills by training you themselves. Think about how you can imaginatively promote the development of yourself in both those situations, both a formal one and an unstructured, informal one.
One of the first principles of the Investors in People Standard is about the learning and development of the individual and about the level of the individual’s commitment to finding and building areas of development. The great thing about learning is that it has no fixed price. You can pay a lot, or you can pay a just little by getting hold of a book or finding a magazine. But particularly with the advent of the internet, you can find ways to develop yourself that cost nothing.
If we’re imaginative about our learning, we also need to be imaginative about how we use our time and make space for learning. In the context of careers learning, it’s a good idea to become member of an online club where you have a rich list in terms of other members and also in terms of the content and multimedia offerings of the community. Career Ignition Club is one such community. We’ve especially designed it to give you a whole new learning experience that both fuels your imagination and expands your knowledge base.
By Simon North, Founder of Position Ignition (www.positionignition.com) and the Career Ignition Club (www.careerignitionclub.com), the UK’s leading career change and career development company and platform. He is also the author of 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips (http://www.positionignition.com/100-linkedin-job-search-tips). Follow him @PosIgnition for more help with your career challenges.