There is no doubt that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Seeking to have professional and personal growth is one of the best decisions you can make.
This is because if you spend time and money to improve your skills and knowledge, these will be "assets" that will accompany you the rest of your life and no one can take them away. In addition, professional growth is what will help you the most to progress, because no matter how hard you work, if you do not develop your skills and expand your knowledge, there will come a point where you stagnate and cannot continue growing. But that will not happen to you because you are in the right place. In this article, we will look at some areas in which you can improve to achieve great professional growth.
Get a college degree
To begin with, the most important thing is to learn a profession, and there is no better place that teaches this than the university. So if you don't have a degree yet, you should consider starting a college career. Do not make excuses such as "my job demands many hours and I do not have time", "it is a very large investment that I cannot afford to make" or "where I live there is no university that has the degree that I would like to study".
These excuses were valid a couple of decades ago, but today studying online solves all these problems and more. So stop thinking about excuses and better think about what degree you would like to study and start as soon as possible. If you rather need some inspiration, maybe it will help you to know the story of these heroic people who managed to finish university under very adverse circumstances.
Do not forget that obtaining a university degree does not depend on your origin, but on the attitude with which you face this challenge. A university degree will not only give you many opportunities at a professional level, but you will acquire many skills and aptitudes that will be very useful in your personal life.
Have a professional growth plan
Another important point is planning. Most people fail to achieve their goals for the simple reason that they do not have those goals well established. For example, it is useless to say "I am going to study 'X' career to improve as a professional" if you do not know how you will study it, what you want to learn with it and what benefits it will give you in the future. For this, you must set yourself short, medium, and long-term goals, and make sure they are firm, that they convince you and that they are aligned with what you want to achieve in your life.
A good way to do this is to think about what situation you want to be in two, five, or ten years from now. In this way, you will define the lifestyle you want to achieve and you will be able to make decisions based on "what I will do brings me closer to what I want in my life." Let's suppose that you are interested in working in the tourism sector, particularly in hotels, and you want to study a career that will help you get the right profile. In that case, you might ask yourself things like:
- Should you study how to get more guests with marketing? If so, what skills do I need to have to study Marketing?
- Would it be better for me to study Public Accounting and manage hotel finances?
- How is it that these careers will help me get a better salary in that sector later on?
Of course, that is a hypothetical situation and you can ask yourself anything else. The idea is that you understand that these are things you have to think about.
Get a mentor
Although there are things that only university and work practice can teach you, there are a lot more than you can only achieve through someone with a lot of experience. A mentor is a person who has already traveled much of the path that you want to travel. That is, it is someone who has already achieved that goal that you are looking for.
Now, you may ask yourself “how will this help me?”, And the answer is very simple: he or she has already gone through a lot of difficult times and has made several mistakes and successes; you can avoid going through all that if you decide to learn from her experience.
If that still doesn't convince you, let me share with you some reasons why you should consider getting a mentor to improve your professional career:
He has more experience and knowledge than you;
- It will help you to see errors that you are not able to see at the moment;
- You will be accountable to him, which will force you to continually progress;
- He has more connections than you and that will open many doors for you.
- In other words, you will learn from their experience and it will pave the way for you towards your goals.
A mentor is one of the best ways to learn about a profession, so consider it if you want to grow as a professional.
Volunteer with references in your sector
This point is closely related to the previous one; Let's say it's like "the business version" of a mentor.
The idea is that you volunteer to help a company or a person who is a leader in the sector where you want to professionalize yourself. In this way, you will get to know first-hand everything related to your sector since you will be in front of people who know a lot about the subject and that keeps them above the rest.
If you think about it, this is pretty much the same as what a mentor offers you!
However, volunteering benefits you with something else: it will allow you to meet many people and that will help you to get good contacts that in the future you can use to grow even faster. Even if you are doing a job without receiving money in return, do not think that they are not paying you, because in reality they are giving you something very valuable and that money cannot pay: experience.
This is ideal for those who have just finished their studies and do not have a job yet, as it will allow them to gain experience very quickly and in a sector that is really of interest to them. That said, those who already have a job can also get the most out of it by doing it during their off-hours. Although for those who are already working, getting a mentor is probably a better option.
Strive to improve and meet your goals
It is possible that you have ever felt the sensation of being stagnant, that you have already reached the ceiling of your career, and that you cannot give more of yourself to improve yourself. In fact, it may be exactly why you're here. Let me tell you that such a limit does not exist, there will always be some way in which you can overcome yourself. Of course, sometimes this means making very difficult decisions such as leaving your safe and well-paid job to start your own business, moving to another career sector that interests you more, or studying for a university degree.
But, without a doubt, those are the decisions that will lead you to be successful and to the top of your professional growth.
For example, if I told you that studying a business administration career can make you a millionaire, you probably wouldn't believe me, but if you go to the linked article, you'll see that it is possible. Yes indeed! That it is possible does not mean that it is easy, the main thing to get there is dedication, effort, and, above all, making the right decisions.
Develop habits and skills that help you in your professional growth
This should be one of your most important pillars for both professional growth and personal growth.
Most of the things you do on a daily basis are linked to our customs. Therefore, if you do not have good habits, you will surely be doing many things every day that are not getting you closer to that goal you are looking for. In case you don't know, a habit is an action or behavior that we do repeatedly and automatically, that is, we do it almost without realizing it. It is not bad that you have habits, in fact, it is practically impossible that you do not have them. The important thing is to try to prevent vices from appearing, bad habits. To be clearer, a vice may be that, when you get home, you sit in front of the television and have a beer. I'm sure something like this will not help anyone to achieve their goals.
The important thing here is that you are able to examine yourself and see what things you do every day that do not benefit you at all. If you do, maybe you can start spending time on other things that improve you as a person. For example, if instead of having a beer you decide to go for a half-hour walk or read a book, you will surely make the most of your time and feel better about yourself.
Obviously, I am not saying that you never have a beer or that you run away from the idea of resting and spending the occasional leisure time. Of course, that's important to keep you healthy and in a good mood, too, but it can't become your highest priority. Now, you will surely think that what we have talked about so far does not have much to do with the point I made in the subtitle, but that is not true.
Make reading your best ally and never stop training
Before I mentioned that the previous point should be one of your pillars, and this should also be another fundamental pillar for your professional growth: training and continuous learning. To achieve this it is very important that you make friends with reading. If you already like to read and you do it regularly, great! But if not, you should start developing this habit right away. Why do I advise you to read? Because the authors of the books are people who know a lot about what they are talking about and have put all their years of experience into a book.
Expand your network of professional contacts
As you surely remember, before I told you that by volunteering you can generate a network of contacts, but this is just one of the ways you can create it. There are many more ways and the truth is that they are very simple to carry out: you just need initiative and dedicate some time to it.
For example, something you can start doing now is inviting people on LinkedIn who you think can help you get a job on a site that grabs your attention. Then try texting them, and if they reply, you can try having a conversation with them, either in person or online. In this way, you can create a bridge with someone who is already well-positioned in the sector that interests you. Of course, keep in mind that you cannot go for the great figures from the beginning. The best thing is to go little by little and start building from the bottom. If it slows you down, don't despair. Networking is like rolling a snowball: the more it rolls, the bigger and faster it gets. Suddenly you will see how your contact list grows exponentially! If you are still wondering what is the use of putting so much effort into this, let me share the benefits that a good network of contacts can offer you:
It can help you to have good first-hand information and before others: this is a great advantage and, used in the right way, it can make you grow a lot;
It will help you achieve results much faster: if you are looking for a job, want a promotion, or are thinking of starting a new business, being linked with the right people can be very useful to achieve those goals;
In addition to the professional aspect, it can also help you personally: a network of contacts can provide you with information on events of your interest, ways to participate in social activities, and even help you form good friendships;
If you seek new contacts every day, over time you will have such a large and nurturing network that the opportunities for growth will be endless.
As you can see, having a network of contacts can bring you many benefits in your professional career and, therefore, make you grow significantly.