Welcome back to our series on careers and why they can be both fun and successful! Previously, we discussed how it could be easier for employers to put employees in jobs that they love and that match their personalities, while minimizing the chances for these employees to quit. Apart from fitting and staying with an organization, employees also need opportunities to learn and grow. But whether or not we’ll be moving away from the company to find new challenges, we can still acquire knowledge and experience through jobs we’re passionate about. This next part of our series will explain why.
WE CAN DEVELOP EXPERTISE BY BUILDING UP SPECIFIC SKILLSETS.
What do we mean by this? It’s all about developing a specialization. It’s about being able to focus on certain skills that we can consider our strengths. When we’re able to devote our time to doing something, we add to our experience of that. We give ourselves a chance to approach that skill from all angles, explore every possibility it presents, and even giving it some personal touches.
For example, two passionate graphic designers who love what they do may be using the exact same graphic editing software, but they will have different ways of manipulating the tools of that program. The differences in their experiences and their styles will result in differences in their output. They will have unique professional backgrounds, and they will have personal touches evident in their work, similar to preferred techniques and signatures on actual paintings. And even if we add one or two more artists to this comparison, there will still be noticeable differences between them. However, they can all be considered experts to some degree.
This way of looking at growth can be applied to multiple disciplines. It’s all about turning a skill, raw and unpolished as it is, into a forte that can become part of one’s personal and professional brand. By developing our personal brand, we can be recognized as experts who each have something unique to bring to the table.
Over time, the expertise we’ve built up will allow us to acquire a wealth of experience even within the same organization as when we started. Without over-generalization, we can say that greater experience is a proven way of getting our employer’s attention in terms of promotion.
This same train of thought applies even if we move to another company, as long as we get a position that satisfies us in both personal and professional contexts. Even in different environments, similar positions will still require the same core traits and skills and will still have the same gut feeling. It will still feel like familiar territory even if the processes, tools and interfaces are not quite the same. This is how experienced professionals can sometimes easily learn the ropes under a new employer, as if by intuition.
And that’s how being in a job we love can help us grow as professionals.