Too many professionals make the mistake of thinking that there’s no way to grow within a role unless you receive a promotion or make a move to a different company. But one of the best ways to expand your skillset and grow within your career is to experiment, push yourself, and try new things within your current role. Here are four helpful tips to help you do just that.
Take On Challenging Projects
Rising leaders within a company are those willing to challenge themselves with the hardest projects that require the most teamwork to accomplish the end goals. This requires a certain fearlessness and desire to develop your own skills beyond where they might currently be. Future leaders are eager to test their abilities, challenge themselves, and work with others to accomplish their goals. The ability to stay calm and organized under pressure is a great sign of leadership and self-direction. Managers take note when you volunteer for challenging projects, so don’t be the one who sits back and lets others take the lead. Plus, a challenging project is the single best way to test and push your skills to develop further in meaningful ways. Be the person on your team who raises their hand and leans into the challenging projects that others may shy away from.
Solicit and Listen to Feedback
It can be stressful to be on the receiving end of criticism. But feedback is a gift, especially if you actively seek it out. Feedback is literally an opportunity to grow within your career. Managers see leadership potential in those who regularly solicit input and feedback on their work in order to better understand what is expected and what they can do to improve. The ability to accept criticism and learn from the feedback of others is critical to personal and professional growth. Maintaining a certain authenticity through this process is also a great trait for potential leaders to have. These individuals lead by example and are able to motivate their team to rise to the challenge and commit to certain goals. They understand their professional strengths and are able to find people to complement their weaknesses.
Self-Direct When Appropriate
Autonomy is a hugely important aspect of career success. Being a self-starter is a must for those who are hand-picked for promotions. Taking on challenging projects and learning from mistakes is important, but managers have an obvious preference for those capable of self-direction. The ability to manage autonomy, to make good decisions based on your unique perspective and strengths is something that will set you apart from the herd. Autonomy also offers real-world learning opportunities and challenges that can help build leadership and management skills.
Create Synergies with Teammates
Whoever said two heads are better than one knew the real power of teamwork. Employees who are able to get buy-in and support from their team members are a natural pick for future leadership. But more than that, people who are able to identify and leverage the strengths and diverse backgrounds of a team are paving the way for a company to grow. The ability to motivate others, to rally a team, this is the work that will push your career forward. You don’t need to be an extrovert or an amazing public speaker, but you do need to be able to communicate well, motivate others and make sure that you have the buy-in you need to do your job really well.
For more advice on growing your career, connect with the team at ESGI today.