A few months into a new job and Kevin was already asking himself how he would know when it was time to leave. It was a question that had come up often in his earlier career. He had moved jobs every year or two, so that he did not get stuck in one job for too long. But he also knew that he had to deliver game-changing results if he aspired to more senior leadership roles. On reflection, he realised that he would only leave his job when he stopped learning and growing.
Learning and growing is a critical piece of the employee engagement puzzle for Kevin and many others. A Gallup report suggests that 59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job. Comparatively, 44% of Gen Xers and 41% of baby boomers say the same. It could be a major contributing factor to the finding that a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged.
Learning and growing is not only good for our career development, it may also help us deal with the impact of workplace stress. New research suggests that, “focusing on learning, i.e. picking up a new skill, gathering new information, or seeking out intellectual challenges can provide a buffer from the detrimental effects of stress, including negative emotions, unethical behaviour, and burnout.” The research even found that learning appears to be more effective than relaxation as a stress buffer.
In Kevin’s case, he has set himself a game-changing objective which is taking him outside his comfort zone. It will require him to learn and grow, particularly to build his key strengths, to accomplish it. He is taking responsibility for his career development, not waiting for a formal development review with his boss. He is building his personal brand as a game-changing leader.
Are you learning and growing?
Best regards, Brian
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