Innovation is the key to staying relevant. That is true in technology, services and products and it is also true in your career.
However, innovation also requires you to do old things in new ways or try new things you’ve never done before. This can be hard to do.
From a career perspective it means being flexible and open to new ideas and ways of working. We were all tested on this with the pandemic when (overnight) we switched to working virtually, or saw workspaces change with new protocols and an altered look (plexiglass and masks being the “new black” in 2020).
It required something new of each of us to find our way in this altered reality.
Doing things differently doesn’t always feel very comfortable, even when you’re doing it for all the right reasons. It can be hard to feel good about making changes that are uncomfortable, draining you of energy and good will. But (the pandemic aside) it is not good to get overly comfortable in your work and career.
Because you get bored. Your skills go stale. You don’t grow. You may even become less relevant (or irrelevant) to your employer. Did you know you can still be run off your feet with work and be bored at the same time?
Yup. And when that happens, it usually shows in your work. It’s hard to fake caring about something you just don’t care about anymore (procrastination, lack of attention to detail, rushing to get it over with…).
So, consider doing something new for your work and career. Start small, learn a new feature in the software you use every day (like knowing how to reverse ALL CAPS without retyping – highlight the text and hit SHIFT + F3 - you’re welcome).
Learning new things, innovating, being creative asks you to do something very important. It asks you to believe in yourself, to take a small risk, to stretch your thinking and for that small price it gives a lot back.
It gives you something to feel really good about (yeah, I’m the boss of my typing, even when I accidently hit the caps lock key four sentences ago… again). It shows you what you are more than capable of doing. It helps remind you that you are a dynamic human being who isn’t standing still but is moving toward a future that you are getting ready to meet head on.
Doing something new isn’t about big, monumental things like getting an MBA, it’s about staying flexible in your thinking, so you keep being curious and don’t put up with the little things that hold you back (especially the ones in your control).
What new thing can you do today?
I bet doing it will make you feel good and is an important step in investing in your relevancy at work.