7 key elements for professional development.
There have always been lot many thoughts on how to develop and what steps one need to follow to achieve professional success. With my experience and after discussing with some of my colleagues and friends who are into various professions I came up with 7 key elements that could help one to develop professionally. Here are those 7 steps…
1. Communication: Be a good communicator. Proper communication is the sole foundation for bringing a fantastic solution, be it requirement gathering, rapid solution providing, or a long-term persisting problem. Being a good listener has tremendous positive effects in the outcome of a conversation rather than prejudication. This will result in development of belief and conviction on the other person about your attitude and potential to give more details on the problem that would help in successfully resolving the issue. “When hearts opens ego melts”.
2. Continuous learning: Each issue that comes to you could be different. As an IT professional I have faced various tasks with different intensity. We can always provide faster solutions for the one we have already faced by maintaining a Known Error Data Base (KEDB). But for a new challenge one need to understand the root cause; how this affects the normal process and the attributes involved in the existence of this issue. We need to go back to the old school process of learning and finding an appropriate solution. This is applicable for everyone irrespective of their experience.
3. Overcoming fear: This is a main hurdle to growth at any level. Those who have overcome this hurdle have achieved great things in life. Living with fear is the worst feeling one could ever have in life. If I start writing about fear, this topic could end up in a huge volume. There are many popular books about overcoming fear and the one that comes to my mind now is ‘Action Cures fear’ ― David J. Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big.
There are various forms of fear.
a. Fear of unknown: Push yourself to seek advice/help from peers or seniors. This is one of the most common forms of fear that we see in every profession.
b. Fear of execution: This is another form of fear that happens due to lack of knowledge/ awareness during a specific situation. After the first step you will come to know what needs to be done to accomplish the goal. Now, you should learn the basic steps those are to be followed to overcome this problem. Discuss with the client about the gravity of the problem and how you can effectively adopt measures to solve it. Get the required time so that you could keep the deadline.
c. Don’t swallow huge fish: Breaking down the problem into various steps would be an easier way to approach a big problem. That way you would be able to learn, carefully execute and there by gain confidence after each step and finally accomplish the goal. Though this may be time consuming, the results will be wonderful. Patience is the key. Do not forget to document the results that were produced after executing each step. This would really help with further analysis.
d. Move slowly: One does not need to move mountains. Confidence lies in doing and achieving simple things dutifully. Take one step at a time and fear only to being stagnant. Don’t be afraid to move forward slowly.The ability to overcome fear is one of the greatest attributes for professional development. Fear of failure could be overcome by understanding the root cause of failure, carefully analyzing each and every step and then trying again .
4. Being punctual: This is a major factor for professional/ personal success. One needs to understand the value of his own as well as other’s time. If you do not have the habit of keeping time, start that habit right now and see how fast things change.
5. Following up: Everyone has dreams in life. But a few plan for it and a very few follow the plan. The best way to make our dreams come true is to plan, write down the way of achieving those milestones step by step and then follow up religiously. Many fail in the final step of following up. I would recommend noting down your planned steps on a list and making sure you check them off each day after completion. If for some reason you are unable to do that for a particular day make a reminder for the next day. By doing so your mind would get habituated with the process and you don’t need someone else to give you a PUSH. Try this out and the outcome will be magical.
6. Updating your arsenal: When was the last time you updated your skill set? Just have a look and see what’s new around the globe. Spend some time daily to keep a watch on the improvements and technological innovations that happen in your domain that is of interest to you. If you feel that it is going to be something that adds value to your career, go for it. “Sharpen your tool while you clear the woods”. Ref: Shiv Khera, You Can Win.
7. Giving something back: Contribution plays it all well. Great men write books to share their experience in life that would help millions to follow the footsteps and overcome challenges. You don’t always have to write a book. You could write a brief and short essay that makes the point. Today, we have numerous platforms such as social media where you can share your experience. This would be helpful to someone who is working on the same area to get faster results. This type of contributions would definitely give you happiness more than anything else.
Appreciating others- This is the best thing one can do to encourage others to perform better.
Wear a pleasant smile in your face 🙂 . This would boost confidence in you as well others who deal with you !!
Thank you for reading the article . Hope you have really enjoyed it and I would love to hear your valuable comments .
All the best!!
Thanking Troy Goldner and Sanjay Madhavan for their valuable opinions.