In this article AJR will discuss Making The Most Of Your Lunch Breaks
Stuck in a rut with your career ? It’s a common problem – many workers find themselves in a job they find not very challenging and boring, but may lack the means or willpower to climb further up the career ladder or maybe you need a push to do something about it “remember its on you, it always has been” .
One way to improve your job prospects is to learn a new skill at every opportunity you can grasp. Most people have busy lives outside of work, and don’t necessarily have spare time to devote to learning.
However, there is an untapped source of free time in the working day – the lunch break if you are lucky enough to have one!. The most successful business people use their breaks for self-improvement. half hour might not sound much, but if you study a new skill for an half hour every day, the time soon adds up into something significant.
You’re No Longer Learning on the Job
Someone once told me that the best careers are built from chasing learning curves, and I think that’s absolutely true. Picking up new skills, getting to build relationships with a variety of people, learning about a different industry or a different area in your chosen industry: These things keep you fresh on the job and can make every day an adventure. Even those topics you might not particularly love learning about, can help you ramp up and open opportunities to work on new, more exciting projects. And when these kinds of learning opportunities disappear, things can get pretty dull—and pretty career-stunting—fast.
If you’re bored at work and no longer learning, ask yourself why. Is it because you haven’t sought out opportunities that will push you to take on new responsibilities and expand your skill set? Or, is it possible that you have learned just about everything you could have learned in your current role? If you’re only refining your current skill set without expanding it (which is really a nice way of saying you’re doing the same thing day in and day out), it’s a likely sign you’re not learning much on the job. This Quote from Steve Jobs Founder of Apple always sticks in my mind.
Become A Specialist (Remember Nobody is An Expert!)
Being good at your job won’t automatically land you a promotion. The best way to advance your career is to become a specialist in a chosen area in your field. Don’t allow yourself to grow complacent – the most successful people are constantly challenging themselves to learn more. “if i have not learnt something new during the day, i make it my mission to learn something new before i go to sleep no matter how big or small then a least i know the day has not been wasted.”
Keep up to date with the industry news feeds. Following the Twitter accounts of authoritative publications and experts is an easy way to stay informed and on top of the industry, as they will often tweet about the latest developments and opinions. If your looking for great up to date tech news or design news throughout the day then follow me @AJR_Computing
You can also follow me @thelogocreative that’s more related to Graphic design and mainly the area of logo design, brand identity design, branding.
Read around the subject. There will be blogs and sites – and potentially even books – dedicated to your profession, regardless of the industry. If i am serious about learning a certain area i will look for a good book to read something i can refer back to, You could also ask relevant questions on Quora to build your knowledge. Once you know enough about the subject, you can answer other people’s questions. The more questions you can answer on that subject then you can call yourself a specialist, the go to person for that area then look for another area you can focus on while updating your Knowledge in other areas you have studied.
There is an Obvious Faster Route in Sight
Perhaps what you’re missing is a specific skill set to get to the next level in your career, or even another degree or certification. You could certainly gain these things without quitting your job—many skills today can be learned online, on your lunch break, or after work—but it will take you longer to reach your goal you can even study a degree at home. If you have really got some learning to do, it may be time to go back to school, night school is great as you can work your current job and study at the same time it gets you out of the home environment and into the learning zone, plus you make friends as well people who share the same interests as yourself. i Achieved a few diplomas this way and i really enjoyed it and made some good friends and contacts.
Consider your timeline, the skills you want to acquire, your goals for getting a new position, and the opportunity cost at stake. If you’re pressed for time and a full-time program is an option, consider going for it. Your career is a long-term investment—remember that in the grand scheme of things, a one/two -year master’s program is actually quite short!
The Situation is Toxic
Sometimes there’s plenty of opportunity for growth and you learn something new every day, but the work environment is emotionally draining and entirely uninspiring. Maybe you love your boss but hate the product you’re marketing or visa-versa. Or you find yourself dreading the commute and counting the minutes until it’s time to go home so you can get your brain in gear and working to learn something new.
It can be hard to know in advance what your non-negotiable are for work, especially early in your career. But, boy will you know them when you see them. Office culture, team culture, commute time, company size, organisational structure: You’ll know how important each of these factors is to you once you have fallen a few times in the wrong camp. If you find that your quality of life is seriously negatively impacted by your workplace, it’s time to start looking elsewhere.
You Want to Do Something Else
Don’t find your boss’s job appealing? Side project keeping you up at night? If you find you don’t actually like the career path set in front of you, listen to your instincts, admit that you’re searching for something else, and consider heading down that new path.
If you find you are looking to change industries entirely, you have got a couple of options for easing out of your current gig. If you can stay in your current job and take on projects that are more in line with what you would like to be doing next until a new opportunity arises, great. But be realistic about whether or not this is possible—you can’t take blood from a stone. You can also forge connections in your new industry while keeping up with your current job, but if it’s a really different industry or role you’re gunning for, you might have to just take that leap of faith and quit. Building a network in a new industry, after all, can often be a full-time job.
Calling it quits is not easy, and yes, sometimes in life you have to grin and bear it. But remember: Sometimes it’s only through quitting that you can get to the next big win.
I know its the best decision i ever made… But i prepared for it!