7 Things I Do To Grow My Career
We all evolve. Evolution implies a constant change. But, some of us evolve slowly while others evolve quickly. We are not all comfortable with constant change. As humans, we are blessed with a creative mind that allows us to experiment. But, we are constantly pulled by our emotions to stay in comfort, stop taking risks, and just be.
The truth is that the world is evolving whether we want to evolve or not. Staying at where you are might feel comfortable for the moment. But, soon, the tidal wave of evolution will sweep onto your shore.
Do you want to be caught by surprise or do you want to take control?
There’s a moment that I think about a lot in my life. I look at the rhythm of my life as a constant wave or a mountain slope. I’m not a surfer but I used to be a skier.
So, here it is, I envision myself skiing with an avalanche coming behind me.
Do I want to be caught under the avalanche or do I want to lead the avalanche?
This is why in every career I embarked on, I try to stay ahead of the avalanche. I’m not competing against anyone. But, I am competing with the “me” from last year.
Sometimes you get caught under the avalanche, it’s okay to spend some time digging yourself out. Then, when you are ready, get ahead of it again.
As you turn a new page into the year 2020, what are you planning to do to grow in your career?
Here’s my list of 7things that I’ve always done to grow at every job that I ever had.
Learn Everything You Can About the Job
Have you looked at your job as the opportunity to be paid to learn? I didn’t realize this until I left my corporate environment for several years. But, while you are in the environment, you don’t realize that you are sharpening your skills every day. It’s good to take the opportunity to learn all you can in this environment.
I remember in my Corporate IT job, I started to admire very quantitative people and their passion for Math. Eventually, I learned all I can about Math and Statistics. This is now I got back into programming again.
If you only learn what the job is teaching you, then you’ll miss all the doors that it might open for you. Paying attention to all the inspirations that you derive from your day to day can lead you to new adventures.
Work On Side Projects
There was never a time that I am without a side project. When I was in the Corporate world, I took classes of all varieties on the side. There was even a time when I went to culinary school to learn to bake. When I am pursuing a writing career now, I’m exploring programming on the side.
Every side project opens doors for you. It doesn’t matter if the project relates to your profession or not.
Make Yourself Redundant
You might think I’m nuts. But, even in the corporate environment, I used to teach my coworkers everything I worked on. By the time I was done with projects, I can hand them over and move on. The only time I was unhappy was the time that I couldn’t move on because I was being clingy.
But, really, I can’t imagine being exactly in the same place in one year. I’ve always evolved. Now, because I have a child, I seek stability. But even then, I can still work for the same company for years, but I need to finish new projects every single year.
Share your knowledge and inspire others. It will push you to learn new things, improve, and evolve.
Lock Your Money Up
There’s such a thing as “hunger” for life. When you are actually “hungry”, you get a boost of motivation like no other. I’m not saying that you should go without the basics. But, I am saying that you should lock your money up so that you don’t spend it on luxuries.
Use the hunger for luxuries to motivate yourself to do better at everything that you do. It will inspire more creativity in the ways that you think about your career.
I have this conversation with myself a lot, “Should I, shouldn’t I?”. The thing is that when you are sure that you don’t want to move on, you don’t even ponder. It’s a non-issue. So, when you are pondering this question, there’s probably a good reason for you to be moving on.
Don’t think too hard. You can always circle back. Move on and give it a try. If it really scares you, then have a backup plan. You don’t truly know what it’s all about if you don’t take a risk and change it up.
Do you look for inspiration everywhere in your life? I do. I search for inspiration every day in everyone in my life. It doesn’t matter where I live or how I live, I derive inspiration from everything around me.
A mess inspires me to draw. My breakfast inspired me to work out. My son inspired me to run. A good book inspired me to work on a new project. A conversation between my online friends made me think about the importance of real life.
These inspirations generates great ideas and ways of thinking that lead to new opportunities.
Rollup Your Sleeves
Someone once asked me if I wanted to be a manager. I remember telling this person, “No, I’m a doer.” I’ve always enjoyed doing the work. The truth is that being a manager comes with its problems. I know that now that I have my own business.
Rolling up my sleeves and just work on projects alongside people who are passionate about their work is a privilege. In the act of “doing”, you learn more than you ever thought possible.
The experience of weathering ups and downs of a project with fellow teammates bonds you. At certain levels, you will find more humanity in the “doing” inside your teams.
The “human-ness” is what enables you to grow as a person through your work.
As we move on to a new year, are you ready to immerse yourself fully into the world around you? It’s not easy. But, it must be done. I hope that you will have faith that these experiences will leave you a “better” person than you were last year. At the same time, you will enjoy the ride, even if it’s bumpy. I promise.