We present you ways to squeeze in some professional development—without spending a dime.
Get it right (your career story, that is!)
Everyone has a unique story, but not everyone leverages its power. Properly crafted, your career story helps to differentiate you from your competitors, highlight your value, and draws the relevant attention to you. It provides a common thread that weaves together your personal and professional experiences, as well as your transferable skills, making it easy for others to connect the dots. Knowing and being able to articulate your career story clearly is transformative – use it wisely.
Share your wisdom
Wisdom is the ability to think and act with knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. However, it transforms into something truly powerful when it is shared. Why? Because all the wisdom in the world is meaningless without application.
Yet many leaders eschew this and choose instead to hoard their insights, fearful of giving them away. They don’t understand a simple truth – sharing your wisdom amplifies your impact. And today, the best way to magnify your message is to harness the power and reach of social media.
Clean up your (work) environment
Real growth happens when we understand whom and what best supports what we want, and then align ourselves with those people and places that do. You can’t make a significant, lasting change without altering some elements of it. Your environment always wins; make sure it supports your goals.
Brush up on your soft skills
Emotional intelligence is paramount in a competitive corporate world, business leaders swear by them, and they remain in high demand. We’res peaking of soft skills, those frequently misunderstood and undervalued skills that drive career success. At its core, business is about building solid relationships. No matter your job function or title, to succeed, you must interact with other people. And those who find a way to combine their hard skills with soft skills create environments that empower and ignite their teams, delight their customers, and fuel sustainable growth.
Your ability to prioritize and focus your attention on tackling work projects is crucial. When you master it, you’ll learn to say no, do, decide, delegate or delete tasks, batch routine tasks, eliminate distractions, embrace mono-tasking, get to know—and work—your own rhythms, and build in breaks to recharge. How and with whom you spend your time, and your productivity while doing so, demonstrate your focus and commitment to what—and who—matters most.
Shift your mindset to put people first to become more empathetic, seeing them as human beings rather than a means to the end of a transaction or task, ask thoughtful and probing questions that draw out implications and feelings, which in turn, fosters a deeper connection, and listen more and talk less. When you practice empathy, you’ll better understand your customers, colleagues, and partners, and then be able to use those insights in ways to better serve and communicate with them. Simon Sinek, Oprah Winfrey and Gary Vaynerchuk all cite empathy as an essential leadership skill.
Learn to be more charismatic
Charisma is more than being engaging or witty. We’re attracted to those who truly listen to us, who give us their undivided focus and leave us feeling seen and heard. Those who dare to be vulnerable and who genuinely want to connect and share and treat us with respect and kindness. And in return, we offer our unwavering attention and trust. At its essence, charisma isn’t just about your likability or ability to tell a good story. Instead, its real power has less to do with you and everything to do with how you make others feel.
Move past your fear and stop hiding
Fear – a powerful emotion. It often masquerades as a cloak of protection, keeping us from doing things that may cause us harm. But sometimes, the real damage comes from the inaction that fear enables. We avoid at all costs those things that make us uncomfortable, but there is no growth in the status quo. Sooner or later, that caution and those fears that prevent you from getting hurt or put on the spot, stagnate you.
Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear; it’s time to stop hiding and go for it.