Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it's good for your career

CuriosityWe have all heard the phrase "curiosity killed the cat", but in my experience, intellectual curiosity is great for your career... (and in case you're interested, Warren Buffett agrees with me).

The message from this blog post is simply that approaching business and perhaps life, with a desire to learn, will be good for your career. I personally, am aiming for "lifelong learning" so I encourage you to read on for supporting arguments and tips on how to achieve just that.

The costs associated with pursuing learning will vary with the approach you take. One likely cost however, is time:
- time away from your job and the activities that contribute towards this year's bonus, or
- personal time that could be spent with family, friends etc.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Build a broad skill base - pursue learning, never money

Pursue learning, never moneyHere is a piece of advice that I received early in my career:
 "Build a broad base of skills and experience that you can rely on as you progress in your career. While it may be possible (easy?) to secure a more senior position...greater responsibility and expectations come with increased salary. If you one day find yourself in a role where you cannot meet expectations, it is near impossible to any direction. Build that broad base, move up (only) when you are ready and the money will come."

I have considered this advice numerous times throughout my career. For example, when considering which role to pursue next, I try to identify a role at least one position further along my preferred career path. I then find a real role description for that role and see what skills and experience are required. That then gives me the criteria for the role that I am pursuing right now: Which of all the roles out there, am I confident that I can succeed in and will give me the most and best, skills and experience?