I’m just a bit late on this post now that it’s almost March. Getting the business organized before the arrival of Baby #2 in just few short weeks has kept me on the go. All the preparation has kept me thinking about my career goals as Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs continues to grow. After so many years in this business, I fear boredom and the feeling of career stagnation. To conquer these fears, I need to be continuously improving myself and seeking new ways of doing my work the best I can. Goal-setting and goal tracking is a big part of how I stay motivated.
What Do You Want to Improve?
I think everyone can agree we all have areas we can improve our skills. You shouldn’t depend on your employer for all of your professional development opportunities. Plenty of resources exist to help you gain new skills that come in handy on and off the job.
Here are a few ideas on areas to explore to get your wheels churning:
- Learn new technology applications. Study up on SEO, accounting/personal finance software and project management systems. You can surely find a way to apply them at some point in your life.
- Ramp up on social media knowledge and personal branding activities
- Hone those writing skills
- Expand your general knowledge in a variety of subject areas
- Become a better networker
- Learn the ins and outs of business and explore areas outside of your specialty
Where to Learn Online
An overwhelming amount of information can be found online – from blogs and tutorials (that’s how I learned to sew!) to online courses via video, text, and audio. You can be as formal or informal as you want in your learning.
If you want something with less of a university feel, but still structured, check out these online learning platforms:
- Khan Academy: more than 2,800 videos and exercises in math, business and humanities
- Udemy: free and paid courses on a variety of topics
- Udacity: technical and computer courses
As an avid reader, I try to read one to two business books a quarter and not just in my area of expertise. Try some of the suggestions from Josh Kaufman, author of the Personal MBA, Master the Art of Business lists the 99 Best Business Books to get started.
What to Do With Your Newfound Knowledge
At your next performance review, let your employer know you’ve taken the initiative to learn new skills that help you perform your role better. Hopefully your boss will have already noticed. Your goal is to let your employer know you’re serious about your job and you’re commitment to your professional development.
And at the very least, your new interests and knowledge will keep you sharp and ready to chime in during those off-topic business dinner conversations.
Photo credit: Mark Brannan
Date: February 21st, 2012 / Author: Lindsay
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