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How a Learning Mindset Amplifies Your Professional Development

by Olufisayo
Antrix Corporate Solutions Ltd
How a Learning Mindset Amplifies Your Professional Development

If you’re like most professionals, you spent years in school studying to earn your qualifications. But the learning doesn’t end on graduation day. You need to keep on top of new developments in your field and be willing to keep learning and building new skills via continued education and professional development opportunities, or else your career will stagnate.

How can you stay committed to your professional development? Don’t rest on your laurels. Cultivate a learning mindset, and make a habit of growth. Here’s how.

How a Learning Mindset Amplifies Your Professional Development

Schedule Time for Learning

If you’ve completed any amount of higher education, you already understand the importance of blocking off time to study. Don’t let that good habit die. Make time for learning – build it into your schedule, so you’re refreshing and expanding your skills consistently.

Yes, we know that’s easier said than done. When you were in school, learning was your job. Now, you have an actual job, and you have to make time to do it. As you get older and more established in your career, you don’t usually end up with fewer responsibilities. And that’s not even to mention the spouse, family, pets, house and other personal responsibilities that tend to add up as the years go by.

But, the most successful professionals make time for learning through it all. They’re committed to lifelong learning, and they make it a priority. There are plenty of options available to a professional who wants to make learning and professional development a priority. Your company might offer training workshops or even tuition reimbursement to help you go back to school for your master’s. Is now the right time to look into admissions to a program like the William and Mary Master of Education in Counseling? If not a master’s degree, what about a graduate certificate or a professional certification in your field?

Even if you’re not up for a degree or certification right now, or ever, you can still take courses online, read books by experts in your field, follow industry blogs or listen to professional development podcasts. With so many options, it’s easier than ever to carve out a little time each week to advance your knowledge.

Seek Out Mentors

Having a mentor can do wonders for your career progression, and not just because your mentor might be able to pull strings for you. Remember, your mentor was once where you are today, and they managed to climb the ladder to a position that you probably aspire to, or one that’s very similar. Your mentor can give you feedback and advice that you might not get from a supervisor or colleague. They will, hopefully, be more honest in their feedback, if just as tactful.

Collect Feedback — And Use It

Feedback is an invaluable professional development tool because it can help you develop greater self-awareness. Through feedback from colleagues, supervisors, customers and clients, you can learn what your strengths and weaknesses are – and you can use that knowledge to make better decisions.

Solicit feedback from those above and below you, and anyone else who is in a position to offer useful input. Give people the option to provide feedback anonymously if they want. Use it as a tool for self-reflection. Observe yourself as you go through your day, considering how others react to you and what your feedback says about your effectiveness. The more aware you are of your own shortcomings and strengths, the more you can improve yourself, and the better your decisions and behavior will be.

Read and Write Often

Reading books relevant to your field is a great way to develop professionally – but you can learn from all kinds of books, and reading regularly will help you maintain a love of learning. Writing about what you’ve read can help you master the material. By the same token, writing about what you’ve learned during trainings, in online courses, from podcasts or in conversations with mentors or peers can cement the knowledge in your mind. Writing is a means of learning, and it can help you polish your communication and critical thinking skills. You might also get to a point where you’ll be able to publish what you’ve written, which can help you establish your expertise.

If you want to stay relevant in the workforce and enjoy a long and vibrant career, you need to keep learning throughout your life. Cultivating a learning mindset will help you stay curious and give you the drive you’ll need to get ahead.

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