7 Transformational Habits to Cultivate Career Growth
Did you know that you will work over 85,000 hours in your lifetime? It is no wonder that after a year and a half of a worldwide pandemic, working from home 24/7, and saying “you are on mute” 10x a day, that we are craving a career makeover.
Pre-pandemic career development and job searching looked very different. I had blinders on to thinking outside my designated career lane – especially as an entrepreneur.
Most of us stayed on one consistent path, didn’t ask questions, and considered money over happiness.
And now, as the dust begins to settle from an exhausting pandemic, we are waking up. We are analyzing our careers with a different lens. We are looking deeper behind the curtain of life to seek more meaning and growth – personally and professionally.
As a leading corporate recruiter and career coach, I noticed two drastic changes in the last year:
People want more meaning in their careers. And on the contrary, there is an increase in professionals feeling stuck on figuring out how to create the actual change they are seeking.
To break the cycle of feeling stuck and motionless in your career, you have to be willing to implement small habits instead of conquering one significant transformation in one leap.
Here are seven career habits that I have used to help hundreds of clients since the pandemic hit in 2020 – habits that, when combined, can create transformative growth not only in your career but for personal development as well.
Let’s get started!
Take more self-assessments
Learning about yourself is one of the most intuitive and important pieces of the career growth puzzle. And you might think, “Why would I need to take an assessment to tell me more about myself when I am with myself 24/7?” But I challenge you to think differently. Self-assessments were created to help you understand your strengths and motivators and learn what your blind spots and opportunities might be.
Try any of these self-assessments: Myers Briggs, DISC, Character Strengths Assessment, Values Assessment, or Strong Interest Assessment. You can Google and find all of them for free!
Mindset shift from fixed to abundance
A fixed mindset means that you are fixed and narrowly focused on one area and therefore miss out on other opportunities right in front of you. For instance, you might only be fixed on a promotion or focused on getting hired at only one company during your career.
But when you start to shift to the mindset of abundance, a seismic shift can happen. Doors you were not looking to open will start to appear, and you might even turn the handle to a door you never even imagined. Abundance is about a mindset of openness to not only create but also to notice new opportunities.
Network when you do not need to network
Networking is a life-long habit, not just meant for when you need something from your friend in college because they just got a job at Google. Networking is a habit fueled by curiosity, patience, and authenticity.
Make time, at least 1-2 hours a week, to reconnect and grow your network. We have an immense amount of social platforms in the palm of our hand – Slack, LinkedIn, Facebook Groups, and Instagram, to name a few. Start building your community now, and the seeds of networking will naturally grow your career for years to come.
Create a yearly passion project
You do not have to leave your job (just yet) to create career growth. Implement at least one passion project yearly. This could include public speaking, volunteering, philanthropy, or making your own product.
At my corporate job, I pitched a podcast for a company of 90,000 employees worldwide and 11,000 in the US. Guess what? It worked. Bring your passion to life, and I guarantee you will see so much growth quickly.
Create a self-brand vision board
We often create vision boards for our future – pictures of distant cities, motivational sayings, or photos of dream homes. But I want you to create a vision board for your PRESENT self. What are your values, mission in your career, best strengths, and even the colors and vibe you represent? This exercise can be super helpful for pitching yourself for interviews, too!
Calculate a risk
Growth is non-existent when you’re at a standstill. A small risk might be taking time off to acquire a new skill to build your capabilities for the future. A risk could be emailing a leader asking for a coffee chat. A risk could be pitching an idea or new role to your manager. Growth comes from movement – so take some small jumps!
One hour to inspire
Whether your career is in finance, marketing, software development, or engineering, you need time and space to create, imagine and learn. We cannot do 100% actions 100% of the time. Just like when you are training for a marathon, you need days off too.
The same goes for your career. You need time to create, read, attend workshops, listen to leaders speak, be coached, be inspired. I see my clients grow immensely by dedicating one hour a week. Within one year, you could spend approximately 52 hours cultivating inspiration for your career or business – this small habit can create a huge transformation!
Remember, career growth starts within you. Your mindset, curiosity, ambition, and dedication can drastically shift your career path and cultivate long-term growth.
Make sure to try at least two of these habits – whichever speaks to you most – and dedicate at least 3-6 months to see the change! If you hit obstacles along the way, keep going! Resilience is key to transformative, long-term growth.