CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 25, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Extend Your Career Development Beyond Work

When we mention career development, we generally think about salary issues, job promotions and most of all, work experience. We consider our office environment, working hours and our relationship with our boss and workmates. We picture our resumes, work performance and job security. But we rarely think of career development beyond work. We limit our development within the aspect of work and yet, we can’t deny the fact that we’ve experience career development beyond work in matters such as...

Public Relations and Etiquette

Everyone has a social status that they acclimatise to. This of course comes at a price because maintaining one’s social status is not a free ride. There are financial costs involved and there are inappropriate places that you can never be seen. There is also the etiquette that one observes in terms of image and the way you relate to other people. There is also a sense of style that people associate you with, from your choice of apparel and food to the kind of car you drive, presumably of course.

Organization and Authority

We all strive to strike a balance between work and home affairs. Time management is also critical in this because there is a daily schedule that you have to follow. You’ve also got to ensure that your needs are met under conducive environments. For instance, be it a date or a casual meal, every occasion is organized in a befitting way. Then there is the issue of authority. From the way you treat cops to the manner in which you address your companion. There has got to be some aspect of respect considering the authoritative position of the individuals that you encounter outside the work.

Recognition of Market Gaps and Untapped Opportunities

When you discuss ideas and opinions with friends, you think of the problems first before imagining ways through which they can be solved. The world has an abundance of problems and as such, there is also an abundance of opportunities to solve those problems. This is the essence of work besides of course earning a living.

Financial Resource Management

Everyone has a budget in mind and one does not need to carry it around. We know the maximum and minimum we can spend on certain items. We save on commodities and properties that we seek to purchase in the near future. We invest in side-gigs and start-up ventures here and there. We also meet our personal needs month after month ’like magic’ because we’ve internalized financial resource management.

Networking

We love meeting and interacting with new people to establish new friendship ties. We learn of different personalities and how to respond to them. Just the same way we don’t treat our friends the same because they’re different. We also learn loyalty through family ties. That’s why we make our clients at the workplace feel at home. Basically, there are key aspects of networking that we acquire outside work.

How then does one extend their Career Development beyond Work

#1 Think of your career as a hobby

Sound crazy right? But all the same, we at times take our careers way too seriously and get grumpy in the process. Then we have those that hate their job so much so that they view it as slavery, hypothetically speaking of course. So in essence, you’ll need to scrap off the formal aspect of work from your mind. You’ll need to picture your hobby activities and try to incorporate them into your work. But that can’t be possible unless you...

#2 Picture your office as a playground

Incorporating play into work is a big challenge because you’re trying to create a motivational atmosphere and not a distracting one. Moreover, a playful environment might sound noble, but it won’t serve its purpose if play becomes the main agenda. So you’ll need to design playful situations that inevitably motivate you to work more. And on that note...

#3 Incorporate unconventional incentives at work

Millennial work environments are very good at pulling this off. Take Google HQ for instance. The workplace is full of game parks with playful activities that make the Google internship programme spontaneous and exciting. You get to socialize and have fun while at the same time focusing on the rigorous work of cyberspace. Such incentives will definitely encourage you to think outside the box. Plus, your career gets to be more of a lifetime experience than the usual working hours affair.

We’ve been advised on numerous occasions to think outside the box. Problem is though, in a bid to extend our career development beyond work, we can’t isolate the work aspect because it is an essential part of our careers. But there is a much better option according to Staphen C. Hogan, "Don’t just think outside the box. Rethink the box altogether."

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