5 ways to help yourself grow professionally


shutterstock_215689705Why does your growth and development matter? It’s essential to challenge and stretch yourself often, and not let yourself get stuck in a job where you don’t feel like you are growing or learning.

There is more potential inside each person than even they know. In a fast-paced world with everyone wanting it now, in real-time, and a world that is constantly evolving, its more important than ever to continue to grow professionally and personally. Not only does intentional growth and development have the potential to make you better at your job, it can help you feel more fulfilled both in and out of the workplace.

Here are 5 steps to help you grow professionally even without the support of your company.

  1. Take on new challenges. It can be risky, stressful and sometimes confusing, and it’s a perpetual cycle, but it’s a great thing: this is how professionals and successful companies survive. Sometimes it may seem that new problems crop up as fast as you solve the old ones (sometimes faster!), but that just means you are moving—that you are getting better and stronger. When an opportunity approaches you, seize it!
  2. Read. Yep, it’s that straightforward. Read informative articles from solid, respected sources (if there are citations, you’re going the right direction.) Pick up a book, in e- or paper format, or take an online class. Dedicate an hour a day to read and gain more knowledge.
  3. Invest in your learning. There are so many free webinars, on practically every subject imaginable. Carve out some time each day (or each week) to watch a webinar or two. Most are short, easy to understand, and don’t take huge pieces out of your already busy life. Or, take a whole course! We love Coursera for learning online.
  4. Get a mentor. Look around in your company for someone to mentor you. If one is not available, reach out to thought leaders through LinkedIn or through a connection. It’s important that you have a connection to the person you seek. I always recommend searching for leaders in your industry through linkedin or an association/organization.
  5. Surround yourself with like-minded peers. See if there are Meetup groups in your area. Make friends, collaborate, and have fun. It’s guaranteed to be enriching. You can meet like-minded peers by attending a networking event, joining a board, or through friends.

There is always something you can improve on; make daily deposits into your personal development bank and soon your bank account will grow.


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career


2014 Career Assessment: Are You Moving in the Right Direction Professionally?


2014 Career Assessment Are You Moving in the Right Direction Professionally

Can you believe that 2014 is almost over?

For the third year, I am posting my Career Assessment for you to take to see if you are headed in the right direction professionally. Oftentimes we make moves in our careers that can be counterproductive—and in doing so, we end up not heading where we need to. This can lead to being stuck in a dead-end job, or feeling career burnout which can be a recipe for disaster.

By taking a proactive stance with your career, you can ensure that you are moving towards your intended target—your ultimate dream job. And if you aren’t you can begin to answer these questions to help you get back focused and on track.

My Career Assessment isn’t just for those who are working for others. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I also take the assessment each year. Last year, I was pleased with my results and the direction I was taking. This year, some of my answers made me rethink my direction. I love what it is that I am doing, but want to explore more opportunities and business goals next year.

Take a moment to complete my 2014 Career Assessment and Evaluation. It can give you valuable insight and help you determine your next move.

Here’s my 2014 Career Assessment and Evaluation. In order to better understand where you are going in terms of your career, you must answer these questions:

  • Am I happy with my career?
  • Am I professionally where I planned to be this time last year?
  • Does my career or profession give me enjoyment and fulfillment?
  • Does my career allow me to take care of all of my responsibilities financially?
  • Am I stuck in a career rut?
  • 10 years from now, do I want to be doing what I am doing now? If not, what is it I want to do? What steps do I need to take to begin transitioning?
  • Am I being compensated adequately for my work?
  • Do I like working with my colleagues or coworkers?
  • Do I fit into and understand the company’s culture?
  • Am I working for the company I want to retire with?
  • If I wasn’t working at _________, what would I be doing? Where would I be?
  • Does my career bring me stress?
  • Does my career allow me personal time and a life outside of work?
  • Do I feel positively challenged in my career?
  • Do I know what my career goals are for the next year? If so, what?
  • What goals did I not reach this year professionally that I wanted to reach?
  • Do I have a good working relationship with my peers and boss?
  • Do I like the career field that I am in?

Answering these questions honestly can help you focus on your goals and your next plan of action. Your answers will reveal a lot about you, even if the questions look simple enough. In those answers, you may find that your career is giving you more fulfillment than you thought. Or, you may find that there are some changes that you may need to make professionally to give you joy.

Are you and your career ready for 2015? Where do you see yourself headed in the next year?

The Cubicle Chick