Peter Drucker said: “To know one’s strengths, to know how to improve them and to know what one cannot do–they are the keys to continuous learning.”

I often wonder if people understand the need to keep learning. Often we get caught up in the daily tasks of our job and let them control what happens to us in the work place. People fail to take stock of what they know and the skills they have. We let the job define us and in so doing set limitations on our growth.

Instead of letting our job define us, we should be looking to improve and learn something new. Management consultant Alan Weiss says if you improve 1% a day in 70 days, you’ll be twice as good. Think about it if you make it a point to improve yourself just a little bit each day you will:

  • Increase your value to the organization
  • Enhance you current skill set
  • Moves you closer to becoming a knowledge worker

Take a few minutes and list everything you do at work. After you create that list place the skills you’ve listed in different categories. Some example categories could be technical, communication, people, and financial just to name a few to get you started. After you look at your list, take a moment and think about the list you created. What you will fine is you are more than your position, you will find that you know a lot more than you think.

Take this one step further and consider what Drucker said about improving, the goal here is to continue to improve not sit still and let your skills slip you owe it to yourself to improve them and learn new ones. By doing this it will keep you motivated and on top of your game. More importantly, it puts you in charge of your own destiny making you a valued and indispensible employee whose name isn’t likely to come up on anyone’s list of candidates to downsize.

In today’s work environment, you have to take responsibility for your professional development and management won’t do it for you. Taking the initiative for your own career development puts you in a position of becoming a knowledge worker.

Know your strengths and how to improve them and you will see good things come your way.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2012. All Rights Reserved