Repeating the same tasks day after day can get a little stale after a while if you do not grow your skills. Perhaps you’ve been in your position for some time and are feeling the itch to do something different. But that doesn’t mean you have to find a completely new job. Gaining on-the-job experience and new skill sets in your current role are much easier than switching companies entirely.
You can often find opportunities for growth right from your own desk by being proactive and talking to the right people. Today we have some tips on how to grow your skills where you are and gain new skills without leaving your current job.
Be Proactive Each Day
Sometimes when you’re settled in a role, it can be easy to become comfortable in your routine. Your work doesn’t always speak for itself in these cases (in fact, your manager might assume you’re content with your current responsibilities), so you’ll need to take the initiative and find ways to go the extra mile. If you can show your ability to take initiative and handle more than is currently on your plate, your manager is more likely to extend new opportunities your way in the future.
What does this look like?
According to Fast Company, successful people “provide value beyond what’s asked of them, and in the process, they showcase their talents and show everybody else how much they can contribute.” They’re also looking to display their expertise in the industry and make project suggestions that would benefit the company as a whole, not just their own careers.
How can you go the extra mile today? Be sure to watch out for opportunities to let yourself be seen on your team.
Offer to Help
If your schedule is a little lighter than usual, look around for stressed-out coworkers and offer to assist. Not only will you make some new friends in your very grateful coworkers, but you’ll also learn about a new department and the types of projects they take on.
You may also find opportunities by paying attention to larger department meetings. Even if the task is not directly related to your team, raise your hand and take on the challenge. The more often you speak up, the more often people will think of you when they have something new.
Be Open to Learning Opportunities
Lunch-and-learn coming up at your office? This is a great time to gain exposure to other departments and learn more about your industry. By attending these types of free events, you easily open the door of communication with your manager by discussing what you learned and how you can apply the information to your daily role.
Additionally, keeping up with industry news and best practices will help you become a more well-rounded team member and keep you top-of-mind in management’s eyes for new opportunities.
Suggest Webinars or Classes for the Team
If you’re already signed up for industry newsletters, start looking for interesting webinars or classes for your team (or yourself). Learning more about your industry only makes you more of an expert that others will turn to with questions. With new skills and insight, you can introduce new projects that might help the company.
These classes might be free or low-cost, but they prove you’re looking for ways to learn and expand within your current role. Again, taking initiative beyond your daily responsibilities will demonstrate that you’re ready to take on new projects, and looping in others shows that you’re ready to take on leadership opportunities.
Talk to Your Manager
This step is the most important, but typically the most challenging. However, a good boss will want you to grow your skills just as much as you do. If you have check-in conversations with your manager regularly you can mention a new area of interest or suggest a project during this time. Maybe you can let your manager know about an under-utilized talent.
The fact is, your manager won’t know until you tell him or her.
If you’re already demonstrating your talents and initiative by following our first suggestions, your manager won’t be surprised when you come to them, and he or she will know whatever is thrown your way will be completed effectively because you’ve already demonstrated great leadership and a thirst for more!
Ultimately, you are the only one who can speak up for your career, but don’t rule out your current position just because you might be bored. Look for ways to learn and grow your skills where you are, and you’ll be surprised what opportunities become available.
Taking on new challenges may seem scary, but advocate for yourself, and you’ll likely find that your colleagues and leadership team will be more than willing to help you take on new responsibilities.
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