Make Sure to Learn Something New Every Day
It just might be that because of the economy a lot of employees are looking at their career path through a whole different set of eyes. Instead of thinking about how to get ahead, they’re just concerned with how to hang on.
However, even when times are tough it is important to keep an eye on the future when it comes to a career. After all, the labor market won’t always be like this. And proactivity is generally considered a good quality to find in employees. That’s why it is important for employees to consider what they can do to keep themselves on the right career path, even if their pace has slowed down a bit.
The Benefit of Do-it-Yourself Education
Naturally, what someone learns and how will depend on individual choice. However, one of the best methods of learning is through self education. Taking the initiative and time to brush up on the latest business, market and industry trends shows self-discipline and motivation.
Typically that means doing research and reading. What someone reads will depend on their personal interests and career aspirations. Topics like general business news, industry publications, and trade magazines help to keep employees on top of what is happening in the world of business and how it might affect their industry or employer.
Secondly, reading self-improvement, career-related and business books can also go far in shaping a career and the individual. Learning new techniques or understanding how others have found ways to work through issues is beneficial in providing employees with new tools that can help them be successful.
Finally, learn by teaching others. Sometimes when employees take the time to share their information and knowledge they can gain insight into themselves. Others may show them another angle or point out faulty thinking.
Taking the Time to Learn from Others
Since most people have a limit on their ability to teach themselves it makes sense to take advantage of what others have to offer. Generally this comes through listening and observation.
First, start by believing that everyone has something to offer. Take every opportunity to listen with an open mind. Even if an employee later on decides that the information is invalid, it is important to give it full consideration.
Next, participate. The only way to learn new things is to become involved. That may mean attending a meeting in another department to see how they do it. Or joining a cross-functional team working on a company-wide project where employees can benefit from understanding the impact of other departments on the business operations. Employees can participate by joining professional associations either related to their specfic industry (i.e. insurance) or to their particular career (i.e. accountant). Or consider finding a mentor who can offer coaching and guidance.
Finally, it is important to observe. What are other people doing that works or doesn’t work? Who are the most admired employees in the company and why? One of the best ways to advance a career is to follow those who are already successful.
What it comes down to is that the best way to keep a career going in the right direction is to never give up. That means learning something new everyday.