Building your Experience in today's times

06/04/2021

The world has so much to offer in the 21st century. Right from newer methods of agriculture to academia, from engineering to travelling the cosmos, from discoveries to inventions, from languages to music, from food and books to media and the corporate world, our Age is the epitome of the abundance of knowledge.

And, with great knowledge of course, comes great responsibility.

A responsibility to keep ourselves updated and aware. 

However, while the acquisition of knowledge takes place throughout our life, it is important to understand what it means to upskill ourselves to stay at the top of our game.

WHY do you need it?

For one, trying your hand at different things will help you identify the extent of your own capability, thus showing you the areas you need to work on, as well as the areas that you have a certain amount of proficiency in.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly in some ways, it gives you ‘Real-World’ experience, out of the sheltered academic sphere; it is the trailer for your entire career, showing you that learning never truly stops and it is certainly a lot more than just textbooks and courses.

Thirdly, you will soon understand the importance of networking – building your contacts through your various endeavours. You never know when you may need them, but it’s always good to have them. Meeting new people, knowing and understanding them not only helps you professionally but also personally. You learn more about businesses from the people who run them and the people who endorse those brands.

Okay, so WHAT exactly DOES IT ENTAIL?

The best way to find out what excites you professionally – what you’re good at professionally, is to go out there and try your hand at different things. It’s gonna be messy, but that is exactly what this trial and error process is about – to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. This is the only way you learn of your own potential, what you’re truly capable of and as a subset of the same, you will also find out what you like doing and where your interests lie.

Um, so WHERE DO I START?

The easiest way to begin is to cultivate the knowledge, skills, resources, and relationships until you have a decent footing in the career path you want to explore. It involves research, signing up for courses, connecting with people in those careers, and amassing knowledge from all the platforms at your disposal. With a plethora of free/part-time courses available, all you have to do is decide how much time you can invest in learning and experimenting.

Spread your feelers out into your community and become aware of the ongoings in your neighbourhood. People flock together to work towards a cause that unites them and such voluntary projects may just bring you just the opportunity you may have been looking for! Working and meeting with different people and trying out new things not only helps you streamline what you would like to try out, but also helps you understand what kind of people you like to work with and which context brings out the best in you.

Always remember that there is never a perfect time – Choose to do it now, and your effort will see fruition.

Source – Herminia Ibarra, She is the author of Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015) and Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career (Harvard Business Review Press, 2003).

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