Finding opportunities to grow your skills beyond the day-to-day at work is the ideal way to give your career a boost. However, looking for new challenges is not just about impressing the boss. Taking on responsibilities that push you outside your comfort zone will also boost your confidence in your skills and ability to move up.
Taking on new challenges adds more variety to your role and makes it more interesting than carrying out the same tasks month after month. As soon as you have become comfortable and fully competent in a role, it’s time to start seeking out opportunities to take on new tasks for professional growth. Approaching new challenges doesn’t have to be a challenge in itself, here are four steps to help you along the way.
Don’t take on too much - try starting with a piece of work which will take you outside your comfort zone, but will not make you feel completely out of your depth. It is better to deliver a small new task successfully than fail on a major project.
Create a personal development plan - detail what you aim to do and by when, assessing the type of tasks you are ready to take on while being honest and realistic with yourself. Don’t forget to consider whether you have enough time to fit in your new project while continuing to get through your existing workload.
Seek feedback - take the time to analyze your project to determine what went well and what could have been improved on. Ask your manager for feedback as well and use it to build on your development plan.
Overcome obstacles - don’t let a fear of failure get in your way, if you have considered the task realistically, you should not have a problem in completing it. There will be obstacles, so don’t hesitate to ask for help, people will expect you to need some support when you first try something new.
View your additional work as an investment in your future, not as a passport to an instant pay raise or promotion. Those things may follow, but it is better to enjoy the process, and not see approaching new challenges just as a means to an end.
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