Why does your professional growth and development matter? It is essential to challenge and stretch yourself often within your career. Not only does helping yourself grow professionally have the potential to make you better at your job, but it can help you feel more fulfilled both in and out of the workplace. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a job where you don’t feel like you are able to grow professionally, whether in skills or position.
How to Help Yourself Grow Professionally
Here are five steps to help yourself grow professionally even without the support of your employer.
1. Take on new challenges.
New challenges can be risky, stressful and sometimes confusing. But this is how professionals and successful companies survive and thrive. Sometimes it may seem that new problems crop up as fast as you solve the old ones (sometimes faster!), but that just means you are moving. You are getting better and stronger. When an opportunity approaches you, seize it and see it as an opportunity to help yourself grow professionally
Yep, it’s that straightforward. Read informative articles from solid, respected sources (if there are citations, you’re going the right direction.) Pick up a book or take an online class. Dedicate an hour a day to read and gain more knowledge.
3. Invest in your learning.
There are so many free webinars, on practically every subject imaginable. Help yourself grow professionally by carving out some time each day (or each week) to watch a webinar or two. Most are short, easy to understand, and don’t take huge pieces out of your already busy life. Or, take a whole course! We love Coursera for learning online.
4. Get a mentor.
Look around in your company for someone to mentor you. If one is not available, reach out to thought leaders through LinkedIn or through a connection. It’s important that you have a connection to the person you seek. I always recommend searching for leaders in your industry through LinkedIn or an association/organization.
5. Surround yourself with like-minded peers.
See if there are Meetup groups in your area. Make friends, collaborate, and have fun. It’s guaranteed to be enriching. You can meet like-minded peers by attending a networking event, joining a board, or through friends.
There is always something you can improve on; make daily deposits into your personal development bank and soon your bank account will grow.