As an aspiring career professional, or one interested in growing your presence in your industry, one of the most powerful lessons you’ll learn in your career journey is that of growth. You will constantly face obstacles, problems, and situations that challenge your skillset. In an age, where new information is available every second, the struggle to keep up is real, and also intense. The first advice you’re likely to get is “You need to grow yourself.” “Take a professional class.” or “Learn digital skills.”
But many professionals, especially young career persons have discovered that solutions do not just arise from learning. They emerge from strategic, and actionable learning plans, accessible mentorship programmes, and other readily available learning resources they can access at the push of a button. In this series, you will learn actionable insights to help you grow your career fast in this quick-paced age. If there is anything we’ve learnt, we know that nothing can stop the human spirit, not even a dreadful pandemic.
Four Strategies to Grow Your Career Fast Today
- Consciously Manage Your Activities
The world is moving its focus from activities to strategy, and now results. Experts, executives, and the decision-makers across all management levels have been to the webinars, and the masterclasses. The next move for them is Execution. According to this Harvard Business Review, a few of today’s companies are allowing their employees 20% time to work on their personal projects. Again, most of this time spent learning or taking up MBAs aren’t eventually used to evolve careers.
Now that’s to emphasise the scarcity of time itself, and the need to actually spend time on things that matter. Eventually, as you will later discover, a little time will be invested in learning. And, a little room will be created for the execution from such learning. But this shouldn’t be the case. Learning without application, and review is least impactful on career growth.
From our day jobs, we are able to create time for Executive MBAs, professional courses, and masterclasses. Yet, it is important that this slot we’ve created in our schedule is not reabsorbed by work after earning certificates on these programmes. Don’t end the learning cycle by filling it up with work activities. Instead, use that time as a period of experiment and execution. For learning to be impactful on career, it needs to be applied. But none of this will happen if we do not consciously manage our activities and the time we assign to them.
- Strategic Networking
This may seem over flogged. But networking differs greatly from strategic networking. The latter is more pinpointed on delivering a specific purpose for career excellence. Strategic networking can never go wrong today. Why? It’s because the information is becoming so unfiltered, and maybe cheapened by abundance; a case which can water down standards. In this same discussion, is the quality of our professional education.
Professional education is becoming very accessible; which is in fact, a great achievement. However, the challenge is with the authenticity, and quality of education. Are they up to par? It’s quite easy to stumble on blogs, articles, and even courses that promise career growth hacks, or tips. But how many truly offer a competitive edge when the learner steps into his professional circle? Or vies for a competitive spot in his industry? This is where strategic networking comes to play. By meeting up with, or connecting with seasoned professionals in your field, you are able to flourish to your career purpose.
With strategic networking, aspiring career growth professionals can learn real and actionable industry practices from true professionals. The question of learning, surmounting work challenges using industry best practices are better resolved in such circles and networks. This is how to nurture a healthy appetite for growth and excellence.
The mentor-mentee relationship remains one of the oldest learning relationships. Yet, it’s still vibrant, and relevant in today’s career pursuits. Learning through mentorship offers a more sustainable approach. Because of the relationship established, mentees are able to leverage experienced advice, and expert guidance from mentors who have grown richly in their industries. One of the surest ways to access mentorship, is to find a senior expert who is committed to making an impact. Expectedly, such a perspective allows potential mentors to be receptive to aspiring professionals who are willing to put in the work, and are also ready to learn from constructive criticisms.
While the search for mentors used to be a daunting task, today’s digital world brings more possibilities. In many online professional networks, aspiring professionals are able to find mentors in persons of abundant professional experience, and leadership skillsets. One can easily access their mentorship classes, seek expert advice, and build a mentorial relationship that grows beyond the platform.
For example, the eTraining platform on EnergyHub is structured to transform learning into effective relationships that support professional development. Aspiring professionals can share a more productive relationship with their facilitators and trainers. This is how we help today’s aspiring professionals build effective mentorship for their future.
- Take on projects
Yes, it will be about taking on projects. But this time, it has to be a strategic move for your career. I say strategy because the pre-pandemic times had all the luxury of time. Today is the opposite. Everyone from top-level management, to the helpdesk team, is committed to working on what matters “business survival.” Therefore, your decision to take on projects shouldn’t be all focused on career growth but the bigger picture. Let it help your company answer bigger questions like “How can we rethink customer/sales success in these COVID times?” “How can we readapt our project management or marketing/sales practices for effective operations in this new normal?”
Let your every move for career growth be towards answering a question, or solving puzzles in the bigger picture. We are more about survival and sustainability more than ever. You need to realign your growth to impact areas that matter in your company. Is it accounting, leadership, sales, marketing, etc? It has to be beyond taking a random professional course for its own sake. Growth has to be impactful or else it becomes irrelevant.
Right here on EnergyHub, we incorporated eTraining and Digital Exhibition to help our customers navigate the lockdown period of the pandemic. Our EnergyHub customers could still sell, transact, conduct webinars, reach out to their audience while observing social distancing practices from their homes.
Remarkably, our eTraining has helped nourish the learning ambitions of aspiring professionals across Nigeria and Africa. It’s not just easier to learn, it’s even possible to connect with seasoned professionals, those who have grown their careers in your field.