Knowing and Growing Yourself

by Pauline Caruana

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of graduates at the VET Development Centre  on the topic of success.  Among other things, we explored the concept of working hard and that for many people, this concept means giving up any hope for a work life balance and just “slogging it out” by doing very long hours.

Many of us of have found out the hard way that this method doesn’t end well and that there are four areas on which you can work hard that are more effective:

  • Work hard on productivity
  • Work hard on technical skills and knowledge
  • Work hard on knowing and growing yourself
  • Work hard on overcoming challenges

I’ve previously written about working hard on productivity in my post Work harder or smarter? and this week, I wanted to share a few thoughts on working hard on knowing and growing yourself.  

The good news is that success really isn’t just for people that were born better looking, smarter or more charismatic than anyone else.  It is actually possible for the majority of people to be more successful than they already are and particularly when it comes to their career.  The starting point to this is being self-aware and really getting to know yourself in order to identify areas that you can develop and grow.

Recently we introduced DISC to Customised Training….DISC is a system that helps understand more about behavioural styles and preferences and also gives us information about development areas.  In introducing DISC to us, the facilitator used the illustration of an iceberg and likened the tip of the iceberg to the behaviours that we show in our workplaces.  Underneath the surface, and not show to our colleagues, are so many other things like our personality, talents, past experiences and education history.  

If we take time to be aware of all these things and work hard on ourselves, there is a real opportunity to identify areas where can be more effective and productive than we currently are.  This in turn can lead to more success as we will be better positioned to achieve the things that are important to us.

For me, I have a few favourite ways of identifying development needs and then addressing these. Firstly, I work with a business coach and for those of you who are in any position of leadership or desiring to be, I really can’t recommend coaching highly enough.  It’s great to have a person that you speak freely to, assured of confidentiality and be able to gain a fresh perspective into yourself and situations in the workplace.

Additionally, I find it is important to keep learning every day.  There are many ways to do this including reading – read something every day, read broadly, read out of your area of expertise sometimes and read for fun.  Of course, also I have a special interest in accredited training and it really isn’t possible to do most jobs without having some relevant qualifications and adding to these throughout your career.  Finally, because we’re all time poor, supplement your learning with non-accredited short courses both in your industry areas and in more general areas such as time management or leadership.

You can find out more about our short courses here

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