Many have heard the term, “A comfort zone is beautiful place but nothing ever grows there”. But few actually challenge themsleves to grow and stretch ourselves professionally. It’s vital to challenge and stretch yourself, and not let yourself get stuck in a job where you don’t feel like you are growing or learning.
Everything you want is outside your comfort zone. The very first step is to make a decision. Decide on what you want and then take massive action! Intentional growth and development have the potential to make you better at your job and 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. Challenges help you become innovative and creative. They can force you to take a different approach with a different outlook. If we always do what we always did we will always get what we always got.
2. Read. This cannot be stressed enough. Learning never stops and with technology in today’s world there is no excuse why you should be reading and learning on the daily basis. You have the opportunity and resources to literally learn from the best in your chosen profession. �Dedicate an hour a day to read and gain more knowledge.
3. Invest in Your Learning. It is fine to look to your company to pay for you to attend a seminar or conference, but be clear that YOU have to be the one who invests in you � which means you may have to come out of your own pocket to make things happen for you. There are many free webinars, on practically every subject imaginable. Youtube, Ted Talks, Edx.com, udemy.com, coursera.com, the resources are endless. �Carve out some time each day (or each week) to watch a webinar or two. Invest in yourself, you can afford it.
4. Get a Mentor. Look around in your company for someone to mentor you. Most senior leaders would love to mentor those that are willing and eager to learn. 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.
5. Surround Yourself with Like-Minded Peers. Networking is key.� 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.
Make daily deposits into your personal development bank and soon your bank account will grow.
Corporate Counsel Men of Color is an organization committed to empowering career-minded men of color who are looking to advance their careers and leave a legacy. For more information about our inaugural June 15, 2018 Men of Color Power and Networking Conference in Washington, D.C., visit our website at www.ccMenofcolor.org