I found this pretty good read from lifehacker.com
Here are the main points from the article as well as my thoughts on them:
Find a Career Coach, Mentor, or Buddy
- In each company I’ve been in, I’ve always had someone (or some people even) that I looked up to as a mentor. I’ve also had buddies who have helped me along the way. There’s my immediate supervisor in my first programming job who really took the time to mentor me. I had a buddy who “pushed” me to learn more about web development when all I wanted was to stick with Visual FoxPro.
- I never really had any formal “competitions” with my colleagues but I do remember the times when we would discuss a complex problem/algorithm… and then each would try to come up with the best solution. Now that I think about it, a lot of our best work (and learning) came out of those exercises.
- This is actually something I’ve always believe in. Not only does teaching make you continually brush up your knowledge, it also puts you in a situation where this knowledge is challenged. Students come up with questions that forces you to stay on your toes. By the way, teaching does not just occur in the formal setting of a classroom, it can occur anywhere and anytime.
Work Outside Your Comfort Zone
- I’ve actually done this a couple of times in my career. From a business-related degree, I decided to go into programming. From programming, I decided to go into software quality assurance and testing. From individual contributor, I went into team/people management.Still, it does not get easier. Pushing one’s self outside that comfort zone will always take effort (who wants to leave the comforts of their happy place anyway).
Start a Side Project
- I’ve had side projects ever since I started working. Some are directly related to work while others are really just things I love to do. Although others feel that this will distract you from your work, I actually agree with the author. Side projects allow you to do things outside your daily routine and learn new things. Of course, time management is really important when venturing into this.
Make a Plan
- This is probably one of the things that I need to work on as I really do not have a “set plan.” Sure, I’ve given it some thought, discussed it with my peers ever, but nothing has been written on paper that I could go back to and assess. Hmm… sounds like an item on my to-do list.
You can view the complete article here.
Lifehacker is a weblog about life hacks and software which launched on January 31, 2005. The site is owned by Gawker Media and covers Microsoft Windows, Mac, and Linux programs as well as time-saving tips and tricks. The staff updates the site about 18 times each weekday, with reduced updates on weekends. The Lifehacker motto is “Tips and downloads for getting things done.”
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