A year ago, I published an entry about professional growth entitled “The Professional Stretch.” When I started to write this, I searched for my previous article and was amazed it was about a year ago. The original article was inspired by a conference that I reviewed about professional growth. Today, I write this from the uneasy quadrant of self growth. It is at that moment when you realize that things are changing. Not in a bad way, though the uncertainty of the growth is both inspiring and generates a unique uneasiness.
- It is a phase of time. The growth will take shape and create a learning event, a new skill, or a reference point to go back to. As the idea becomes common, it will see less like foreign land and more like your neighborhood.
- Keep a journal of thoughts. Several people that I knew, both personal and professional, have a journal (or blog) and reflect on that time in both present and past.What were you thinking then? What was the obstacle – or new item? It can also be reassuring to read scripts of dialog where you can review (your) timeline prior, during and post events. It can make future events easier.
- Realize that stretching is how you grow. Consider an endurance runner, weight lifter, or athelte (in general). Their events were once stretch goals, and they needed to build in order to get there. The uneasiness that I, or you, feel is comparable to the doubt or pain they experience when going to new levels.
- Reflection is key. Consider reflection by a PDCA cycle for yourself. (Plan Do Check Act). What is it that you are facing, and examine it? Take actions to make the most of this opportunity which can add experience and tools to your tool box. Continuously rethink along the way for any course corrections. New territory means new maps, being cautious in new territory is also a healthy choice. Lastly, revise the cycle. You can see more on PDCA, here.
- Ask for help. Knowing limitations and uncertainties can be stressful. If you have a mentor – use them to help with some of the thinking from an objective point of view. Even if the mentor offers no direct tangible advice, simply talking to someone can help you vocalize. Once you vocalize – things can become clearer.
“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?” – Taken from a previous post.
- Plan Do Check Act – it didn’t come from Deming (rajile.com)
- Plan Do Check Act (robertjrgraham.com)
- Exercise is Impotant but dont over do it! (duchenneduo.com)
- 10 Facts About Stretching You Need to Know (lifehack.org)