All of us (at any given moment) are doing the best we can do.
Many of us don't acknowledge this as being the case though, we are our own worst critics and so even though we do our best with what we have....the thought "I could have/should have done/said something better".
That is not such as bad thing, sometimes its that very critical thought that keeps us striving for more and doing better, but for others this can be the very reason we don't feel like we are enough, or completely stop and wonder 'what's the point?!'.
In today's discussion I'll be giving some tips to keep you objectively and mondfully focused on doing your best....because realistically that's all we can do...that and reflect, amend and improver where necessary.
Frankly, this year especially, professional development can take a back seat over our day-to-day responsibilities.
But to keep making progress, to succeed in your role and to maintain professional certifications is to also ultimately advance your career.
The same applies to all areas of life, they need regular (not necessarily daily or even weekly) periodic attentions and effort.
Again, if there is something we have learned this year, there are so.many accessible way to update and improve your skills.
Naturally, we all have our own preferences and methods as to how we learn:
1. Utilise Available Resources
Have a scout to find out out what types of training opportunities are available both within your company and independently.
In some cases you could be entitled to reimbursement from your employer for external courses.
Also subscribe to relevant training agencies so you can receive regular invites or notifications of upcoming training to keep a calendar running.
Don't forget to keep a paper and online record of any training literature, resources and certificates as well as setting up reminders for re-accreditation or expiry dates.
There are thousands of low cost or free resources such as books, ebooks, TED talks, YouTube, community forum groups, local.colleges and learning centres.
Last but not least, don't rule out scholarships and grants as these can often be overlooked and free payment for more expensive education options.
2. Join Groups
Industry based groups often conduct workshops, conferneces and educational sessions where members can update and extend their knowledge and.
These events, whether in-person or online, also provide an avenue for networking, idea sharing and new opportunities.
3. Challenge Yourself
A great way if getting ahead is by etting involved in projects outside of your normal day to day job, studies etc
Put yourself forward Volunteer for new projects that stretch your skills and take up opportunities to learn new things outside of your interests but relevant to the fields you're in to expand your knowledge and growth.
This can be especially good if you're in a gap year, not sure what to do next or are enjoying retirement but find yourself lacking stimulation.
4. Find a Mentor or Coach
Most larger employers and universities will have either a mentoring or coaching programme for staff and students to access.
Pairing with someone who is in a higher position, including outside of yoir organisation or who has admirable expertise you admire can be hugely beneficial as a means to developing but also having a different perspective.
There are many benefits of having a mentor, such as learning firsthand from someone in a role you aspire to, and getting help navigating office politics and areas you may overlook.
Similar to above, shadowing someone already in a position to aspire to can be invaluable.
Use the opportunity to observe their role, actions and ask them questions.
6. Teach or Mentor Others
Put yourself out there AND get into committees, panels and volunteer into leadership roles at where you can develop skills that benefit the group AND are applicable to your job or aspired role.
This can really hone skills such as being an influential leader, collaborative working, co production and will develop your interpersonal skills.
7. Make a Plan to Make it Happen!
Record and track your progress by setting yourself time based goals for the skills you’d like to gain.
This will help to keep you accountable.
It was also be another invaluable aid when it comes to the time when your performance reviews is due.
With a clear and time based plan you can highlight the new skills you’ve developed, areas outside of your role that relate to higher positions can be highlighted and it takes a lot less effort to have to think about in order to sell yourself.
I'm contemplating putting together some printable planners to pull the above together. If you would be interested in testing these get in touch.
Meanwhile... if you enjoyed this please hit the heart button and share.
Om Guru Dev Namo