Growth Strategies That Produce Success
With all the changes that are constantly occurring with technology, social media, and politics, not only is it harder than ever to stay relevant, it’s more important than ever. What does it mean to stay relevant? For companies, it means things like staying on top of business trends, maintaining a consistent marketing plan, and embracing new technologies. But what does it mean for the individual?
It’s just as important for us as individuals to stay relevant in our fields. But how? How do we need to show up and what do we need to focus on to make sure that we as employees are staying relevant? How do we maintain that confidence and knowing that we continue to play an important role? How do we show that we are a vital part of our organization and remain indispensable throughout changing times?
The answer is surprisingly simple: Continue to make your own growth a focus.
Keeping a focus on our own individual growth not only shows that we want to continue to contribute in a positive way, but that we are looking at the big picture. There are many areas in which we can focus on today to prepare ourselves for tomorrow, a year from now, or even five, ten years from now.
Study Your Competitors
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, because, well, it’s true. Where would we be as a society if we didn’t learn from or embrace our neighbor’s bright ideas? If change results in a positive shift for another, there’s a good chance that it will result in a positive shift for you. Do you have a co-worker or a friend who continuously impresses you? Take a close look at what they are doing to stay so on the ball. There’s a chance that they may have a certain strategy or method that would work well for you also.
Attend Trade Shows and Expositions
Trade shows are a wonderful opportunity to surround yourself with people in your similar industry as well as the consumer. They are a great way to see new and advanced products or technology that you could use to your advantage. Often times, there are also small workshops or conferences which you can attend. Expos and trade shows are happening all the time, probably at your nearest convention center. So sign up for one that seems relevant to your needs, see what opportunities for growth are available to you, and learn from the words of wisdom given by the keynote speaker.
Subscribe to a Daily News Update
No agent, producer, director, or anyone expecting to work successfully in Hollywood would flourish without consistently reading websites or periodicals such as Variety or Deadline. The same could be said for nearly any industry or field. Even if we aren’t aware of it, there is content available to all of us to keep ourselves informed and up-to-date within our own industries. Ask around or do a quick browser search. Which media outlets are available in your industry that your peers consider a “must-read?”
Just as real estate value is wholly based on, “Location! Location! Location!,” a person’s ability to stay relevant and knowledgeable in their field can also be summed up in one repeated word: Network! Network! Network! Peers and associates are a huge resource to all of us. Meeting a new person could open doors to any number of growth opportunities, perhaps a new career or the beginning of a mutually beneficial business arrangement. The more people you introduce yourself to, the more people will know who you are. The more people who have your name in mind, the greater the opportunities that will be available to you.
Take an Online Course
Learning is the building block of growth and advancement. The more you know, the more likely you’ll be able to informatively chime in on that conversation between two higher-ups, understand the new computer program introduced in your office, or creatively problem-solve that one issue that just hasn’t yet been addressed. The great news is that, if you have access to the internet, you have access to an incredible amount of free learning. Websites like Coursera or Udacity, and even universities such as Harvard or Yale, offer a large variety of free online courses. Additionally, if you have a library card, you may even have free access to some paid online courses.
Encourage Honest Feedback
It isn’t always easy to hear feedback from others. It’s important not to view this feedback as what we’re doing wrong, but rather, where do we have room for improvement? Honest feedback is one of the greatest tools in our continued growth. Have you ever looked in the mirror just after a meeting only to find that the entire time that you were talking, you had food in your teeth? You may get upset and wonder why no one told you. That’s because it isn’t easy to tell someone something they may not want to hear or may feel embarrassed by. But if you make it well-known that you genuinely want to hear other people’s feedback, you’ll be much more likely to get it.
Taking the time to focus on growth is key to staying relevant in our careers and in our personal lives. Not only will you gain from new knowledge, but you'll also have more confidence in knowing that you took the time and effort to gain that knowledge. So take some time today to help you stay relevant tomorrow.
Melissa Schoenecker is a freelance writer and co-creator of the universe based in Venice, California. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and a Master's Degree from the University of Santa Monica. She contributes to a number of blogs and online postings, but her best work can be found in her gratitude journal.