Why You Should be a Lifelong Learner

James has been an accountant for eight years with just one company. He believes this is proof of his reliability, company loyalty and dedication - admirable traits to have.

And James thinks he’s going to be here for the long-haul.

But James has just been made redundant.

All of a sudden, his long-term plan is up in the air.

But, he figures, with his track record, how hard could it be to side-step into a similar position at another company?

Unfortunately, James finds it nowhere near this easy. Employers look at his resume and feel like he has flatlined. They can’t see how he has expanded his horizons to develop any supplementary skills or demonstrated any kind of growth over the past few years.

When you look closely at yourself, do you feel like your career has stalled too?

Past performance is no longer everything

In the 1980s, employers focused heavily on performance as an indicator of who is right for a role. In fact, Claudio Fernandez-Araoz says the mantra was “the best predictor of future success is past success.” You might have been led to believe something similar.

But today, employers are looking for something different. Portability, self-awareness, determination and above all, lifelong learning are the traits at front of mind. These factors are not just what will get you hired now, but help you have a sustainable career, and see you able to find a new job whenever you need it.

Become a lifelong learner

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, between September 2009 and June 2012, there’s been a significant increase in the number of skill sets needed in the workforce: from 178 to 924.

Jobs are now more diverse, and employers favour those people whose skill sets span multiple industries.

If you want to stand out and stay employable long-term, a dedication to learning throughout your life will give you the best possible chance.

In his book The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman shows that a set process can help people become competent with a new skill in just under 20 hours.

According to Kaufman, the process is:

  1. Define what you want to learn
  2. Break down the skill into its basic components
  3. Identify the critical sub-skills involved in reaching your goal
  4. Eliminate any obstacles to practicing
  5. Commit to at least 20 hours of deliberate, focused practice

Want to find out more about becoming a lifelong learner so you can develop a sustainable career? Please reach out, or stay tuned for the release of my upcoming book.

 

 

Keyword: lifelong learner

 

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

Identify Your Strengths for a Career You Love

As an interior design graduate, Claire imagined her days would be filled with client consultations, where she would provide beautiful solutions to design dilemmas and ultimately, create spaces to be admired.

Instead, she finds herself categorising swatches. That’s her entire role. Categorising swatches every single day.

Claire yearns for client contact and the opportunity to showcase her talent but feels trapped in this backroom role that was poorly defined from the outset. She didn’t think it would be this way.

What’s worse is that Claire just received a very poor evaluation from her manager because her job dissatisfaction is starting to impact on her performance.

Now, she is questioning whether she even belongs in the interior design industry.

Can you relate to these feelings of self-doubt?

Do you ever feel like you made a wrong career turn and can’t see a way out of it?
A career that plays to your weakness is doomed to fail
When you’re in a job that doesn’t allow you to play to your strengths, it’s easy to feel underwhelmed, dissatisfied, and you might even have a constant worry that you’ll be fired. After all, when a role highlights your weaknesses, rather than the best parts of you, it’s not just you that notices, but everyone around you.

That’s why it’s essential to clearly understand where your strengths lie, and whether a future role will allow you to demonstrate them regularly.

How to identify your strengths
In a work context, your strengths can be found by looking at the skills and accomplishments you have accumulated throughout your life. Here’s one simple way to do that:

Choose your top three accomplishments (they can be work, personal, educational or volunteer-based) and identify the skills that were paramount to achieving them. You’ll likely have used some skills more than once, so tally how many times you used each of them.

Now, look at the three skills you have used most. These are your core skills, which your career needs allow you to utilise if you are to find fulfillment.

Once Claire stepped back and identified her core skills, she was able to clearly see that she wasn’t in the wrong industry, just the wrong role. She met with her manager who agreed to a temporary re-design of her position, so she could have the opportunity to prove herself and her strength with design.

Do you want to take the same steps Claire did to enjoy a more enriched career?

Stay tuned for the upcoming release of my book So You’re Career Confused! WTF is Next? I’ll help you delve into your skills and accomplishments more deeply to identify your strengths, and a career you love.

 

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

Keyword: identify your strengths

How to Find the Most Fulfilling Career and Enrich Your Life

Since Alex graduated from university three years ago, she’s held no less than four jobs. Each time she starts a new one, she thinks: this has to be it. This is the one for me; this is where I belong.

But as the novelty wears off, the role becomes more challenging, and her enthusiasm for it flags, Alex uproots herself once more and searches for a new opportunity.

In fact, she’s developed a habit of leaving jobs right before her formal review. Because she has dodged so many of them, she’s now terrified to sit through one, and her resume is starting to look far too flakey.

Alex is chasing something, but she doesn’t know what it is. She doesn’t feel like she has grown at all since graduating. She’s stuck.

Can you relate?

Have you been chasing enjoyment in a job, but find it’s all too fleeting?

Pleasure is fleeting
When you have a hedonistic attitude towards work, you’re missing out on something far more significant: career enrichment. No job can be intensely pleasurable forever, but you can certainly find fulfillment.

That’s why I suggest to the people I coach that they should seek enrichment, rather than pleasure.

How to find the most fulfilling career
I recommend using a simple model that has proved beneficial time and again for those wanting to discover an enriching career.
I call it strengths + love + importance + money (SLIM). This simple formula allows you to pinpoint your most fulfilling career at the intersection of these four key elements.

Firstly, you need to identify what you’re good at. Your strengths can be found by analysing your accomplishments and skills in all areas of life.

Secondly, you should identify what you love to do or your interests. I call this where you get lost.

Thirdly, look to the things that are most important to you, in terms of your values, inner motivations and the people or work culture you naturally fit with.

Finally, your career of choice must be financially-viable for it to satisfy your base-level needs.

Pinpoint a career at the intersection of these four components, and you’re winning.

For in-depth guidance on implementing the SLIM model in your career, please reach out to me directly, or look out for my upcoming book release: So You’re Career Confused! WTF is Next?

Keyword: most fulfilling career

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Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees. He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.