All of us treasure capabilities that can be developed to improve our job performance and take advantage of new opportunities. How can we boost them?

Today’s post begins with good news: there’s a great unexplored potential inside you ready to be developed. This is not just a simple motivational quote but an observation about a reality you shouldn’t lose sight of, provided you want to progress in your job. That potential has to do with hidden abilities which, with some effort and reflective attitude, you can bring out of yourself as part of your professional development.

We are facing an era in which no university degree or professional profile is safe from changes. It is the moment of the so-called “process re-engineering”, featuring complete redesigning in business standards and roles inside companies; we’re in the age of global competition, multiculturalism…

How to confront these challenges? How can you develop your potentialities and adapt them to new entrepreneurial endeavours? Undoubtedly, the answer lies in continuous training and learning: you should incorporate new tools into your working process, take a positive approach to new demands, develop lateral thinking…

The following are some recommendations to enhance your growth potential, a mantra that will help you to be ready to progress professionally in your current job position or to take advantage of new opportunities along the way: 

Create your own network: real and virtual

Set yourself a challenge. For instance, 5 LinkedIn connections per week, 2 new invitations to discussion groups in your field, attending a live event monthly… Creating a professional network can be very helpful to your career. That´s why you should look after it and make it grow in order to create synergies, learn about what other professionals in your sector are up to and improve your knowledge.

In this respect, it is important not only to invite new contacts to connect with your professional profiles, but also to participate in forum threads, leave comments in articles, and ask for and give recommendations.

The off-line world can also provide many opportunities that will help you to get a broader point of view about what’s going on in your professional environment. Search for free seminars, breakfast meetings or networking events to grab an understanding of the latest trends, and to have professional exchanges with other participants sharing common interests.

Update your skills

In his book Information Anxiety, Richard Wurman illustrates how in the last three decades only the amount of information generated is greater than in the last five thousand years. In the 21st century, providing we continue at the same rate, we should expect an equivalent twenty thousand years of progress in just a hundred.

This frenzied pace of changes and new knowledge is having an impact on every professional sector. Hence, one of the most critical aspects in order to develop our labour growth potential is education. The most prominent universities in the world, like Harvard, MIT, or Stanford to name a few, teach diverse courses through platforms like Coursera, which offers technical and functional MOOCs free of charge. That is why you must get trained, attend events, join forums, sign up for free webinars which are held on a daily basis, follow the trends of your industry, read, take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by your company… All in all, you should acquire new skills at the same pace the world changes.

Diversify yourself: the opportunity lies where you least expect it

Co-innovation or collaborative innovation is a concept increasingly widespread in the labour market. To meet its goals, many disciplines promote synergies and learning processes with others that, a priori, bear no relation with them. As Juan Scaliter wrote in his book Exploradores del Futuro (Explorers of the Future), human knowledge is no more a trunk with distinct branches, but a shrub where everything is intertwined.

Hence, when developing your growth potential you must not limit yourself. Create connections with a host of professionals in diverse fields of knowledge (technical, creative, entrepreneurial, educational…) who can support your growth and success.

Trigger off interviews

With the previous three points you will not only strengthen your professional qualities, but your profile will also become an increasingly attractive one for potential employers.

And the best way to ascertain it is to put all this into practice. That’s why, although you may be happy with your current position and you may not be looking for a new experience, don’t let pass before your eyes job opportunities that could be very rewarding.

Explore your network to be aware of what’s in demand, apply to offers related to your goals, go to interviews and learn more about your worth in the market, and grab an understanding of what you have to offer to companies. Discover how do other firms work and evaluate which is the corporate culture most suitable for you.

Sources: BBC, El Confidencial, Exploradores del futuro by Juan Scaliter

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