Learning how to identify growth opportunities at work is essential if you want to excel in your career. It seems almost laughable for me now, but when I first started out in my career almost 2 decades ago. I was an advocate of the viewpoint “My work will speak for itself, I do not need to promote my ability. After all, I am doing my job well and management must be aware of this fact. My promotion is in the bag.”
However, all I was demonstrating to management was that I was capable of doing my job. My colleagues, on the other hand, displayed exceptional ability by proactively seeking growth opportunities. They stretched themselves, moved out of their safe havens (i.e. comfort zones) in order for management to recognise their full potential.
I began to observe and talk to colleagues that were being promoted. I learnt very fast that I needed to stretch myself. Essentially, I needed to move out of my comfort zone and take on new tasks. In order to identify growth opportunities at work, I had to actively take steps to develop and grow. Which would ultimately transform me from being a capable employee to one with exceptional abilities. And so my journey of transformation began.
I now realise that it is important to understand that this journey from developing yourself and identifying opportunities for personal growth in the workplace is a step by step process.
So when you look at your job, what growth opportunities do you see?
When you look at your job, you probably see your role and responsibilities as stated in your job description – right? It is easy to view your role solely through the one-dimensional lens of your “defined role & responsibility” (i.e. what you need to do) and whilst you are focusing on that one-dimensional view, you may be missing out on golden opportunities simply because you are not using the “opportunity to learn” lens.
The opportunities that are presented to you at your workplace often enable you to stand out from your peers. Sticking to what you do is fine if you want to stay where you are, but if you want to progress it is for you to demonstrate your clear potential to step up to the next level.
Doing your job well, merely demonstrates that you are capable which in today’s competitive market is mandatory, hence there are no prizes awarded for just doing your job. If you want to stand out, you need to show that you are exceptional.
How do you achieve this?
- Look for golden opportunities that will push you outside of your comfort zone and allow you to stretch yourself in order to achieve desired outcomes. And when this happens, growth & development occur.
- Take steps to learn new work skills as this will boost your growth and self-confidence, leading to others having confidence in you as well.
- Not all opportunities will be handed to you on a plate. You need to search and take them – be a proactive opportunity digger!