This post is not meant to introduce you to the need for professional development. It is, however, designed to take you a step beyond and help you focus on the importance of lifelong curiosity and a thirst for knowledge.
Here are some easy ways you can invest in yourself in the New Year.
4 Tactics to Keep Developing Your Talents in 2014
- Surround Yourself With Information You Want To Learn – If you alter your environment to support learning, it will make the process much easier. When I want to learn a new task I watch videos, listen to podcasts, and read as many blog posts or books on that topic as possible. For a while I live and breathe that topic. For example, when I wanted to learn about SEO, I read a 500+ page book in my spare time, listened to all the podcasts on that topic and then went out and practiced.
- Go To Conferences Or Events– Interacting with people in your current or a new field can be very profitable for your career. If you want to learn something new, by going to a conference you build relationships with people who are already doing what you’re interested in or are eager to learn.
- Seek Out Mentors – There are plenty of people who are doing what you want to be doing and are willing to give you their advice. All you need to do is find them and ask. You can find mentors in your own network or through Ivy Exec’s Mentor Network who has people at the top of their fields volunteering their time to help out.
- Free Up Time For Career Advancement–You have a busy life, but you can still fit in time for investing in yourself. To be honest, the biggest timesaver I ever discovered was to quit watching television. I haven’t owned a TV for 10 years now and occasionally watch TV online for an hour or two a week. I substituted my TV watching with educational and inspiring TED talks and interviews. For example, I recently watched the Forbes interview of Warren Buffet and Jay-Z. There I heard something inspiring – Warren Buffett, around 32:45 minutes into the video, said that one the best investments you can do is to spend the time on improving your talents and habits. I completely agree and that interview gave rise to this article.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Americans over the age of 15 spend 2.8 hours per day watching television. That’s a part time job! Of course, you dear reader, are not average – but what if you could take some of that time and spend it on improving or learning new skills? Just think how much you could achieve in a week, a month, or in 2014!
I do hope that this post gave you some ideas on how to blend in some fresh ideas into your daily life on how to improve your talents. Remember, learning does not stop after you graduate.
Happy New Year.