Making a difference in your career will make a difference in your life. People often associate their career growth with what happens on the job, and while that is important it is often equally or more important to consider what you do off the job.
Balancing work and life has been a popular topic area for many years. People often talk about working too much, getting stressed out, and even about being burnt out. It’s true, it happens, and often it feels like it sneaks up on you and grabs you from behind.
When I’m coaching or training people I hear a lot about the desire for career growth, the desire for a bigger paycheck, or some combination of health and wealth personal improvement.
That’s not really a surprise. Most people might assume that is the kind of conversations that might be uncovered. What is often somewhat surprising is when they learn that the suggestions for improving their position or circumstances are often just as much about what happens off the job, as on.
On The Job Mindset
There is a mindset that has great intentions. The mindset is that once you are active in the workforce, once you’ve had some formal education and on the job training, everything that happens next will be about what you do on the job.
Your work, your effort, and your focus, you play by the rules, you work honestly and with integrity. All of this, yes, it’s incredibly important.
You pay your dues, you gain more experience, and you’re committed to the organization so you’re expecting more. More opportunity, more responsibility, and often more money, that is great and certainly part of the process but it is likely not all of it.
Sometimes, your opportunities for growth and development have to do with what you do off the job. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about some of these opportunities. Recently I wrote about, 5 Ways to Grow Your Career, which included some on the job, and off the job considerations.
Are you looking for a great way to improve your skills and get more opportunities? Are you seeking more respect and confidence in your abilities among your colleagues or boss? You should strongly consider what you read. Yes, I said read.
While it could be argued that reading anything, romance, drama, or even horror, is better than reading nothing. Those seeking business or personal improvement might want to consider content that directly relates. Consider genres for self-improvement, management and leadership, or something technical or scientific that has a link to your profession.
Reading will help to improve your focus, your grammar, and certainly your intellect. It will help you with direct knowledge about a skill area, make your conversations more powerful, and improve your presence while also making your interactions more compelling.
If it is technical and related to your field it might help you to gain knowledge on the latest trends, best practices, or lessons learned.
If it is motivational or self-improvement it might help you to become more focused, stay focused, or find the strength to continue moving forward.
Books or articles about business, management, or leadership might help you strengthen your professional relationships, build better teams, and become a better communicator.
Doing this off the job helps create better positioning for you on the job, which just might mean, career growth.
Start Reading More
Therefore, you might want to consider reading more. It seems like starting conversations with friends or colleagues differently might help too. Instead of asking, “What’s up?” you might want to ask, “What are you currently reading?”
I know time is precious. There are on the job requirements, and also time requirements for family and friends. There is shopping, chores, and even getting appropriate amounts of exercise, rest and relaxation. All of those are critically important but if you want to grow in your career you should consider taking the time to read.
What are you reading?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.