The professional stretch.

tumblr_m1rsec9HYA1qlyq6uo1_1280For some reason when I titled this post the image of Chris Farley singing, in his tiny coat, came to mind. If you know the lyrics – go ahead and recite them to yourself. If you do not, you missed a classic cheesy slapstick type of humor movie.

Now, think of a piece of fabric from a sweater. Pull at the ends of the sweater and let go. The fabric has changed when the threads are extended by the pulling. The shape has changed. It is common for kids to take the necks and sleeves of shirts and pull at them until they are no longer the same shape. This happens in our professional lives too. We change…

Stretching comes from a the action of expanding ourselves from a current state to a new state where we expand or change in a way where it is noticeable by skill, attitude or combined ability. Most of the time we grow through trial, error, or education. In our careers there are many daily activities that we complete. The mundane daily grind can lead to stagnation, or the lack of growth, by creating a comfortable routine. It becomes the means to the end. The challenge that we must set for ourselves is the ability to move outside of our comfort zone. By taking on a new challenge, new tasks, new job roles where we have to reach, or stretch, we are growing professionally.

Granted it is not as easy as it sounds. Please stop, and take a moment to reflect on the current “You are here” marker for the career of YOU. What are you going to do today to stretch yourself professionally?

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