Don’t sleep on yourself!

If growth is what you are looking for, don’t sleep on yourself and hope things are going to happen. No more being passive. No more playing defense. Others shouldn’t have to call on you when they think it is convenient; it should already be obvious to them that you’re up for the task.

Getting noticed is a result of self-belief and action. The more you practice both, the better off you’ll be. You have to go beyond the obvious to get noticed. It no longer works to rely on the quality of your work, your dedication, or even being a “good employee”. Honestly, all of that is expected. 

One simple thing you can do is to invest in your own development. Goal-oriented individuals are almost always more likely to gain consideration for positions than those who seem to be drifting in their careers. Upskilling is one of the ways you can fully invest in yourself. It has become a necessary method to survive in the current job market, which is ever more competitive and fast-paced.

Here’s how you can upskill and avoid drifting away in your career:

Enhance Your Industry Knowledge : Increasing your industry knowledge gives you a competitive advantage and assists in your professional growth journey. You can allocate time each day for industry education and research, read about the latest updates and upgrades. Here’s how you can build your professional know-how:

  • Get in the loop : online trade journals, blogs, magazines and other publications for news delivered straight to your inbox.
  • Find a forum : when you do, take the opportunity to contribute to discussions as well as absorbing new information.
  • Get social : for the latest publications on industry-related news

Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone : 

Life is full of opportunities to step outside the comfort zone. The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. In principle, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear of the unknown. The next time you’re hesitant, consider the following four steps to breaking out of your comfort zone:

  • Identify your strengths
  • Mark  down your fears
  • Consider potential gains vs. potential loss
  • Keep taking steps: By doing that simple task, and stepping outside your comfort zone ever so slightly, you gain the energy and confidence necessary to take a bigger step forward and step further outside of your comfort zone

Find A Mentor To Show You The Ropes : 

This traditional method of professional learning involves securing the tutelage of an individual more established in your industry. Consider what you can offer a mentor in return for advice, such as a specialized area of skill that you may have. It may be eye-opening to you when you look at how other industry thought-leaders approach specific problems. This is one of the ways that worked wonders for me. Here’s how you can land a great mentor:

  • Be clear on what you want. Are you asking for in-depth career help, simple advice, or for some innovative ideas?
  • What information can you mine on the web about the sector you hope to enter, or the job you hope to obtain?
  • Get to know the person whose help you want before approaching them.
  • Draft a well-executed “ask” e-mail – Keep it short
  • Be accommodating, make it easy for them to help you!

Nurture Your Soft Skills : 

Soft skills are the skills you possess that go beyond your technical, measurable abilities. They focus more on your social leadership, communication and problem solving abilities. The benefits are endless but here’s a few:

  • Communicate often
  • Build positive relationships
  • Work through conflict
  • Get ready to learn
  • Be open to feedback

In this current climate, it’s a good idea to complete some extra training or some short courses to help narrow the skill gap. Identify the skill shortage, research, and find ways you can provide a sustainable solution.

Good Luck! – submitted by : Mokgadi Monareng

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