This is the nineteenth piece in our twenty-part series on how to accelerate your career in your twenties and this time we’re talking about learning. All the people you look up to in your professional life are likely to have one thing in common - they never stop learning. Just like life itself, your career is a journey. You should always strive to develop your knowledge and acquire new skills, and your twenties are an absolutely perfect time to develop this habit.
Don’t set boundaries
We all have things we’re good at, and things we’re not so good at. Just because you’re not the best at something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put time into trying to master it. It’s possible to master your own role while simultaneously picking up odd skills here and there. Not sure how to use that piece of design software? Why not experiment in your down time? Do you keep passing little jobs to others that you’d like to do for yourself? Why not ask them how it’s done? Of course, you should always let your designers design your accountants prepare the books, but picking up useful, additional skills and applying a can-do attitude will go a long way in earning the respect and admiration of those around you. And if you can help shoulder some of their workload when you’re not too busy, you’ll certainly be appreciated.
Become a thought leader
One of the best ways to acquire knowledge is to share it. By harnessing platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, you can create a ‘brand’ for yourself online and connect with like-minded professionals. These professionals will no doubt have lots to offer you, but don’t forget that you probably have a lot to offer them too. By following industry trends and signing up to mailing lists, you can stay abreast of the latest news and offer your thoughts on it. Your thoughts might attract likes, shares and spark debate - all of which can contribute to your knowledge pool and reputation.
Develop the learning habit
Always remember, learning is a constant. It never stops. Once you feel you’ve mastered a particular piece of software, an update will launch with new features. Just when you think you’ve mastered team leadership, new challenges will present themselves as your team changes. You’ll be learning throughout your career, so the earlier you develop the learning habit the easier it will be.