You know you can do more with your career. And the future is going to demand more of you. The problem is you are so busy keeping up with the day-to-day that you can’t prepare for tomorrow. It’s time to stretch, to prepare for tomorrow’s workplace and put yourself in control of the career of your dreams, according to Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick in Stretch.
To remain relevant in spite of change, you need to know how to learn in any situation, open your thinking to a world beyond where you are now, connect to the people who can help you make your future happen, see experiences that will prepare you for tomorrow, and stay motivated through the ups and downs of a career so you can bounce forward.
Not only is your engagement all on you, but your development is, too. Research shows that the number one attribute executives value in employees is a high degree of education and qualification. Yet fewer than one-third reported that their companies offered incentives or benefits related to obtaining more education, whether it was degree-oriented or job-specific.
You must continue to learn and not just in a classroom or in other formal learning settings. In a sense, we must all learn a living because, as people interviewed have said, “It’s on me to develop myself.” You must learn on the job, often “on the fly” if you are to have any hope of keeping up.
A strategy for learning on the fly is to commit to a mindset that you have the capacity to learn and grow. With a growth mindset, opportunities to learn will abound, and you will find yourself more open to new experiences, and you will be more likely to achieve the skill improvement and professional development goals you set for yourself.
Even if you have a defined career path at your company, you may not be willing to follow that prescribed plan. You need options in order to maximize your personal development.
The reward of an ever-expanding network is powerful and often transformational. Networks facilitate collaboration on the job, assist in meeting your overall career goals, and provide support in celebrating life’s successes and rebounding from its disappointments.
Building diversity into your networks prepares you to anticipate change and make sure you have the resources to stay relevant at work. It’s your personal system to access when you need to understand changes in your field or industry.
Understanding what you want your network to do for you can help you determine its ideal size and makeup. When you change to a new role, you must also think about what and how your network needs to shift.
The best network stretches you. Every time you are with them, you feel you have upped your game and are thinking a little differently. Since we can’t maintain close connections to everyone in our networks, focus on the five you could groom to help you thrive.
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