12 career tips of Christmas – day four

Don’t stop learning

At this time of year, everyone in adland is busy crystal-ball gazing to predict what the year ahead will look like. It’s easy to forget that the year end should also signal a time to refocus and reflect on past achievements as well as plan ahead. With that in mind, NABS is running its own 12 Days of Christmas series, on career tips. On each working day, right the way up to Christmas eve, the NABS career team will be sharing their expertise on everything from handling pressure to building networks, from listing achievements, to adding value.

Never stop learning. Identify where the gaps are in your knowledge or areas that are new to you that will benefit your career and business.

Review what training you’ve had over the past year and take a look at your list of successes. Use this as a basis to identify gaps in your skills and knowledge base and work out what you need to improve upon. Show a willingness to learn these new skills – if your company offers training courses ask to take part, if it doesn’t you can still take the initiative to invest in your own growth and explore other options.

For example, it’s not always about a formal training scheme: look at broadening your skills by getting involved in all aspects of the business, perhaps ask for a secondment either to another department, or even client side.

Perhaps it’s not what you learn but who you can learn from. Maybe you need to identify a mentor. Booking regular time in with a boss you rate can yield dividends, as can networking to raid the brains of your contemporaries and even your competitors.

Even more importantly, be willing to share your own knowledge and expertise with colleagues. No one likes a show off, but by being open about what you know and have learnt in an appropriate manner and tone, you’re not only sharing your skills, but highlighting your strengths to others.

Whatever you decide works best for you, have clarity of mission – know your objectives and when it comes to learning, keep them front of mind.

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