There's no shortage of universities, colleges and private
institutions urging you to hand over your hard-earned cash to do some
course or program for career development purposes. Now, while I would
hesitate before investing in any kind of course or program without
there being a likely positive return on my investment, the truth is,
you do need to invest - time, effort and probably money - to progress
within your career.
However, even more important than investing in your formal
education... is investing time, effort and probably some money in
your informal education. That means buying books, subscribing to
newsletters and journals, joining mastermind groups, attending
seminars... and even just chatting with experts. The point is - for
genuine career development, you need to always be learning.
Now while you may agree with this in principle, it's also important
to be open to learning things you "already know". In other words,
even if you think you know something, you may not understand it from
a different, deeper or broader perspective. Yet closing your mind to
these other perspectives will almost certainly hamper your career
development. Indeed, true masters of a subject are often saying how
they are still learning something they have apparently already learned.
So what's it going to be? Will you decide that you "already know all
that", close off your mind to new knowledge and skills, and wonder
why your career development has stalled? Or will you continue to
embrace further opportunities to learn and evolve... and continue to
progress? I know, it's kind of obvious: your best bet is to invest in
your ongoing learning. And, really, ongoing learning is not just
important for your career, but it's also important for your life:
it's the only way to evolve as a person.
For example, a hairdresser who's been cutting and styling hair for 10
years might think they know all about hairdressing by now. But the
fact is, there are always new styles, techniques, products and tools
to learn. Changing fashions are proof of this!
As a result, any hairdresser serious about their career development
would constantly be reading the latest hairdressing magazines,
attending hairdressing conferences and shows, and attempting new
techniques, styles, products and tools.
And that's why my hairdresser continues to learn and build her
skills. Doing so has not only made hairdressing a challenging and
vibrant career for her, but it has also enabled her to reach a point
where she can charge more than double what the average hairdresser
can charge. All because she continues to develop herself. Meanwhile,
the average suburban hairdresser thinks they know all there is to
know about cutting and styling hair, and wonders why they don't get
paid more and work better hours...
That's right, abandon the limited - and limiting - thinking of
someone who "knows it all". Be open and willing to learn instead, and
watch your career continue to move forward and upward.
© 2007 Anna Johnson. All Rights Reserved.