As we march further into 2021, working professionals are anxious to grow this year, but they still face challenges as the world has not returned to what we remember before 2020. The past year was brutal and challenging for everyone. It is pushing more people to make 2021 truly count and achieve goals despite the ongoing historical events. The professional world has changed so much in such a short amount of time that it can be tricky to know where to start. However, by embracing the changes in our work lives, we can find areas to grow professionally and progress in spite of all the various challenges thrown our way. You also have a range of options as there is no single way to work on professional growth in 2021. Think outside of the box and use the tips and tricks below to get started on your professional growth for 2021 and form habits that will help you well into the future.
Find A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Before you can genuinely set out to grow as a professional, you need the spare time to dedicate to growth and new opportunities, but that is much harder to do if your work-life balance is askew. There is no sense in working yourself to exhaustion as you should always have time for yourself and time to recharge. There is more to life than work, so take the time to evaluate how much time you spend working vs. how much time you spend doing whatever you want. If that balance of work to life is out of whack, you are likely to burn out faster and not enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Part of growing as a professional is knowing when something is too much and must change for your own health and wellbeing. Employers that push unhealthy work hours might not be violating safety culture in traditional terms of physical danger, like when working with heavy machines, but overworking employees will cause damage over time. Figure out what work hours are reasonable for your health and either take steps to fix your current work hours or find a new job that will not ask you to work as much.
Learn A New Skill
One of the best ways to grow as a professional is to expand your range of skills. Learning a new skill does not even need to directly relate to your current job or career, as learning new topics and expanding yourself as a person will always help you grow professionally. You can give yourself a professional edge with a varied background and diverse set of skills, even if they are not all directly related. Someone who takes the time to learn about IT in their spare time could become an unexpected benefit to a roofing company that does not know much about computers. Learning something new is never a bad idea and will often lead to opportunities where you can use your new skills.
Time Management And Organization
If you want to expand your professional capabilities, you need more time in the day to fit new activities in, but that is easier said than done. However, many people who claim to have no free time actually have no time management skills nor an organizational system. You may have more free time in your day than you realize because it is taken up by poor planning, taking too long on the wrong tasks, distractions, poor organization, and more. Look at what you do every day and consider what tasks could be done faster or managed better. You also work faster when everything you need is within reach rather than scattered around your space. If you know exactly where to look for the paper you need to finish a task, you will finish with that task faster, so you can move on to something else. You will enjoy the feeling of being done with your routine tasks faster, and it might even spark the energy you need to do something you have been putting off or inspire you to keep improving yourself.
Everyone went through a tough year in 2020, and many of those challenges are continuing into 2021. It can be hard to think of ways to improve yourself within your current life in such historic and unpredictable times, but it is possible with some hard work and self-reflection. Find a healthy work-life balance, focus on time management and organization to reduce wasted time, and consider learning a new skill to keep your brain sharp and your curiosity peaked.