As we have focused heavily this month on Personal Development it is important to realize one of the best things you can do to make yourself more employable, retainable and promotable is to develop your professional strengths which means engaging yourself in some sort of Professional Development.
Here are 3 ways to begin to develop your strengths in the workplace:
Identify your flow –
When you are at work what task is it that you look forward to doing the most? Where do you find your flow? Flow is when you can do something for hours and not even realize the time has gone by. Is this when you are making sales calls and actually get out and speak to customers or clients? Is it when you dive into the books and crunch numbers? Is it when you present to your team and show them the vision of your organization? Whatever it is – it is a strength.
Identify your go-to factor –
What is it that your superiors and co-workers go to you for? Are you the go-to for technology, grammar or calmly handling an upset customer? You have a skill set that stands out to those around you and they are more than likely to bring a problem to you rather than to handle it themselves knowing you will do it better.
Identify your weak areas –
Where do you seek help from your colleagues? During your periodic review with your supervisor what is an area they have asked you to focus and improve on? What is it on your list of job duties that you dread? These are your weak areas.
Take some time to make a list of these.
What are you doing to develop your professional strengths?
When you identify your flow, you are building confidence. This is what you are already good at. How can you become better? Share your knowledge. Mentor your peers and direct reports. Teaching others is a great way to focus more on the subject and in turn learn more.
Recognizing your go-to factor will help you establish that you do have a skill set that makes you an asset to those around you. This skill set can be worked on and improved by learning more about it. Read some articles or sign up for a webinar to increase your proficiency. Volunteer to take on a project in this area.
Observing your weaknesses is vital. No one likes to talk about their areas of deficiency because it opens areas of vulnerability. The best thing to do is to use this vulnerability in your favor. Meet it head on and do your best to learn more. Take a class. Read a book. Go to a seminar. Ask your colleagues for recommendations on what best practices they used to learn more in this area. Perhaps it is just as simple as training alongside them.
Take the time to do a little professional development this year. It may seem like your schedule is already full. By doing so you will make yourself more employable, retainable and promotable. It will also improve confidence in the job you currently have.
For more professional development resources, sign up for the Monday Morning Coaching Memo.