Ideas to keep your work self agile and moss-free

Whether you dream of different work or a lifetime with your current employer, it helps job satisfaction and career mobility to keep your learning curve curvy. The smart pro will be on the lookout for ways to stay on top of changes in their field and will keep expanding their own skillsets and minds.

We find it easy to accept (albeit perhaps begrudgingly) that life brings a stream of constant planning and maintenance. Dental care, house renovations, vacation research, garden weeding, teaching children… on and on it goes. Most of us fall short of investing in our own potential with the same conscious application. Here are a few tips for putting personal development on the to-do list:

Be strategic with your potential

  • Create a mind-map to explore the areas of your work and life where you’d like to see growth and change
  • Set up bookmarks folders in your phone and computer browser to quickly grab and organize reading material for later
  • Add self-development time to your weekly (or daily) schedule
  • Type “personal development plan” into your web browser and see what appeals to you

Invest in learning

  • Explore the many zero cost online educational opportunities
  • Develop a side hustle – entrepreneurial work you could use as a career springboard. This could fulfill the passion your main job doesn’t or just make a few bucks. Want to learn entrepreneurship and management skills without interfering with your work schedule? Check out Okanagan College’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Certificate.
  • Pick away at a new certification or degree in the field you want to switch to by exploring accredited Canadian schools with online programs
  • Udemy has over 45,000 courses in every imaginable topic
  • Lynda is a fantastic resource for any technical platform, software or skill set you’ll find on or off the job. Residents of Penticton have FREE access to Lynda.com’s courses with their Library card!

Use time creatively

  • Take advantage of that fancy-pants phone and load podcasts, audiobooks and Udemy lectures in the categories you’ve identified to develop your potential
  • Traffic, walking to work and the lineups at Service Canada are your new best friends. With bookmarked articles and pre-loaded lectures, you have more time for yourself than you think
  • Explore the brave new world of “productivity hacking”. Check out bloggers such as Charlie Gilkie or Mike Vardy for ideas.

When planning to maximize your schedule and potential, remember that power to perform is built in the downtime. Do you have stillness built in? Meditation, yoga, being quiet in nature, listening to music, sitting on the back deck and doing nothing… get those nice, slow brain waves humming. Research has shown that even short meditation sessions have a positive impact on maintaining mental agility at home and at work.

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