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Invest in Your Career Development and Collect Immediate Dividends

September 5, 2013 by Suzanne Updegraff in Career Management

Invest in Your Career Development and Collect Immediate Dividends

Do you find yourself lacking enthusiasm for your work? Are you experiencing a professional slump? Do you feel that your skills and strengths are underused in your workplace? Are you struggling to maintain a work-life balance? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this may be the perfect time to invest in very particular ways in your career development and use one or more of several well-proven techniques and tactics that can enable you to re-energize, re-invigorate, and re-fuel your life and career in immediate and meaningful ways. Here are just a few of these techniques or approaches you can potentially use:

1.  Learn New Skills

If you are feeling uninspired by performing many of the same old tasks or projects at work, why not brainstorm with your boss on new skills you could learn to create a little more job interest and even help to accelerate your career in the future (and improve your current job performance as a return on the I investment made by your organization)? This may include attending a conference or a seminar, taking a class or a workshop or even doing a short internal assignment. All of these would assist in developing new skills and fresh experiences that will bring renewed interest and excitement to your work.

2. Subscribe to a Professional Development Newsletter

Subscribing to a professional development newsletter, blog or magazine is an excellent way to stay abreast of trends and developments in your industry, profession or general area of expertise, thereby helping you to keep up-to-date and even ahead of the curve.  Learning about innovations happening in your field can also help you advance faster than your peers.  Even simple tips on saving time when performing certain tasks can benefit your daily work life. Commit to reading any publications you subscribe to, and make it a habit in your daily or weekly schedule.

3. Actively Network with Others

Both internal and external networking is a must for anyone in today’s highly connected world. Individuals should therefore seek out new contacts in your own organization (perhaps in other departments) and outside your organization in similar professional areas.  Not only does networking beyond your immediate circle of contacts give you an opportunity to interact with people working in different areas or at other organizations in your industry but it also enhances your social skills, which is a likely to be of significant future benefit when moving up the career ladder or taking on bigger managerial responsibilities.

4. Be Willing to Take on New Challenges

There is no better way to stir up your daily routine than to take on a new challenge.  Approach your team or department head and offer to take on a new task that will use your existing skills ideal in a novel of different way.  Your career development is bound to benefit significantly from your renewed interest and expanded repertoire. Especially if you are a person who enjoys challenges and problem-solving, you may find that new projects motivate and stimulate you in ways that your current familiar projects do not.

5. Cultivate Work-Life Balance

If you are feeling burnt out, take time to gain perspective on what really matters to you and strive toward establishing a better balance between your work and life outside of work. Spending time outdoors (even if this is only taking a walk in the park at lunchtime), spending quality time with family and friends, pursuing a favorite hobby, exercising and/or meditating are all activities that can refresh and recharge you. They can also give you a more positive outlook and to improve your sense of well-being both outside and in the office.

6. Follow Your Passion

One of the most powerful career development lessons is also one of the most obvious but often overlooked ones.  It boils down to following your passion. Succeeding in a job you dislike is not only difficult to accomplish but it is also less meaningful and rewarding.  Figuring out your true passion and succeeding in a job that is directly linked to your passion is infinitely more rewarding and meaningful, and it may very well be the ultimate goal of professional development. If you can’t be passionate about your current job, talk to your boss about redesigning it, consider other internal jobs which may be a better fit or consider moving on.

Suzanne Updegraff is the Founder and CEO of EDSI. Their blog is at:

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About Suzanne Updegraff

Suzanne Updegraff is the Founder and CEO of EDSI. EDSI has been helping organizations and their employees since 1979. The main initiatives include Professional Presence in a Casual World, Personal improvement/ professional presence, Increasing Personal Effectiveness, and Communicating to Manage Performance. EDSI is known as The accountability company. Their blog is at:

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Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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