7 proven strategies for getting better at your role

Once you’ve gotten past the inevitable learning curve at the office, professional growth tends to stagnate. Most employees struggle to continuously grow because they are focused on consistently performing well, which leaves little time for exploration and learning. Here are 7 strategies for getting better at your job while interning abroad.

 

1. Knowing and wanting to get better

Any self-improvement starts with a genuine interest and passion for getting better. You have to be able to first recognize  which areas you would like to improve and make a decision to set aside time and effort to pursue that goal. When getting better at your job, you need to know exactly what it is you’d like to improve on first. You can start by asking for feedback from your colleagues and supervisors.

 

2. Deliberate learning and education time

Most of our professional lives are spent executing the high-quality tasks that are expected of us. However, to truly get better at your job, it’s important to have time set aside for learning.  Only when you are given the chance to fail and try new strategies or methods, will you actually be able to get better. Deliberate learning can range from online courses, getting to the office early to try something new, reading, or observing a different role. Being inquisitive and exploratory while you focus on a new skill will really help you grow professionally.

 

getting better at your job

 

3. Find a mentor

There are few people better equipped to facilitate your professional growth than an older, wiser person in your career field. A mentor can guide and coach you, while also offering feedback on your projects and office relationships to help you improve in your role. They also can identify learning opportunities and give strategic advice for your professional development.

 

4. Reflection and observation

Without some sort of measurement and observation of your work performance and behavior, it will be difficult to measure improvement or set up concrete goals. That’s why taking into account your skill level is vital. Listen closely to feedback from your colleagues and supervisors. Take time to think critically about your accomplishments and failures and where you could have made improvements. What made one project more successful than another? Reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses, while taking into account your career aspirations, will help you identify your professional development priorities.

 

5. Set goals for yourself

Improvements are easiest met and measured when you set milestone goals for yourself. Maybe you want to become better at networking, or more experienced with a certain program you use in your role. Whatever it is, set up some short-term goals (ex: attend one networking event per week and make 3 connections at each) and then a long-term goal (ex: grow your professional network by 20% in one year).

 

6. Take on new responsibilities

Whenever you have the chance to jump into a different role or learn a new skillset, take advantage. Volunteer for projects that may fall out of your immediate scope in order to understand your workplace better and exercise a new skillset. Use these experiences to ask questions, listen and observe. Also, see what you can learn from the coworkers you don’t spend as much time with.

 

getting better at your job

 

7. Get organized

A disorganized workspace is the enemy of productivity. Getting your office organized can really help improve work flow and allow you to use your energy and brain power on bigger projects and problems. It’s hard to get better or learn more about your job if you’re wasting time searching for old emails or contact information buried in your computer or lost on your desk.

 

Now that you know these 7 strategies for getting better at your job, apply now to gain international internship experience.

 

 

Sources: https://www.ted.com/talks/eduardo_briceno_how_to_get_better_at_the_things_you_care_about#t-622512, https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/11/11/10-ways-to-become-better-at-your-job-today-2/#4fe9e5f33b89, https://www.iris.xyz/development/20-ways-improve-your-performance-work, https://www.atriumstaff.com/16-ways-to-improve-your-work-performance-in-2016/

 

Photos:

1. based on FIX Flyer Office, by Schezar, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Millennials Jam Workshop: Youth and ICTs beyond 2015, by ITU Pictures, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Innovation Accelerator 2008, by nigelpepper, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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