Professional Development - Work Smarter, Not Harder
Posted Date: 2017-12-21
If you want to make the most of your professional development, it is important that you figure out how to get to these pivotal moments faster. In fact, it actually requires that you change your mindset about professional development training from some educational classes that you take every now and then to an active lifestyle that you lead every day in the workplace.
Here are how working smarter, not harder can help you advance more quickly in your personal development.
Make the Most of Your Time
Improving your workplace practices so that you can make the most of the day will greatly improve your professional development. Set boundaries on how you use your time and protect them as much as possible.
If that means that you set aside a block of time every day or week that no one is allowed to mess with no matter what, that is time well spent. It is not the same thing as being unavailable to others: it's about making yourself available to the tasks you need to complete to advance your career and improve your future.
Do The Important Stuff Today
Non-urgent tasks have a way of creeping up on us if they are ignored, so much so that they become urgent tasks if we're unable to get to them before the deadline. If you can set aside a bit of time each day to deal with things that are going to become due at some point in the future, you'll be better off later on.
Get to Know Yourself
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is extremely important to your personal development. Do you have issues with managing your time effectively? Are you under-valuing the skillset that you bring to the table in your regular job duties? It's not easy to make these kinds of judgements about yourself when your continuously swamped with things to do. Become clear about what your weaknesses are and find strategies to improve.
Figure Out How You Learn
Are you a visual learner? While some people might learn best through theory, others learn experientially. You may even find that you can do a combination of the two. Think about the training opportunities that you've had thus far.
What was it about those courses or workshops that really made a lot of difference in your life? Personal development happens faster when you are able to learn in an environment that suits you best.
Don't Just React, Act
When you're pressed to make a decision quickly, there's often no time for you to weigh the pros and cons of your decision. Find time to figure out what actions you could take that will best benefit your career in the long run.
Where is the business going? What challenges have you faced thus far? If the problem occurred again, what would you do differently? When you act instead of just reacting, you can make better choices about your career.
Your team, Google, and LinkedIn are some of the best resources that you have available to you. Before asking a manager a question, the first thing you should do is try to find a solution based on the resources that you have available to you.
Even if it takes you a bit longer to find what you are looking for, the act of performing research is very powerful. Along the way, you're likely to find other bits of information that could prove to be useful for your current quest or for a future endeavour.
If using the internet isn't the right solution for the task, turn to your network instead. Is there someone that you know or you have worked with previously that has faced a similar challenge? Do you know someone with a skillset that could be useful in the task at hand? Keep a list of go-to people for faster help when needed.
Improving your value in the workplace can lead to new opportunities and connections. When you help others to problem solve, you'll ultimately benefit in the end by standing out as the go-to person for others who are facing tough challenges.
While it make sound like extra work in the short term, doing more than you need to helps you to build your network and create a cycle of positive feedback from your team members.
Offer Solutions, Not Problems
Instead of going to your superiors with a problem, instead offer a solution. Feel confident knowing that you likely already have the solution given that your skillset is the reason why you were hired in the first place.
Although it might seem uncomfortable at first, start to feel confident that you can propose new solutions to old challenges before simply reporting them as problems. Think through a few scenarios for how things might work out with your proposed solutions and be ready to compromise a bit in order to find a resolution.
In any professional situation, the individuals that truly excel are those who are super productive. While they work hard, they are also working smart. They come to work with the mindset of solving problems and they also try to add as much value as they can in every situation. They take that extra leap for their clients and their team members and you know that you can always count on them.
So take these steps to work smart and watch your personal development blossom as you become the top-performing person in your industry that you always wanted to be. You can achieve your goals once you make these actions part of your regular routine of how you perform on the job.
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