Mar 242015

I was once told, “whenever we think we are good, we can be even better.”  The fun part of this thought is deciding what do you want to be better at?

If you are like most reporters, you want to grow your professional skills.  Find ways to improve yourself and your career.  If this is you, then we have something in common.  I’m very passionate about professional growth, which seems to usually help my personal growth.

Here are some ideas to help you polish the diamond inside you!

Wake up early, okay, just a little bit earlier.  Waking up early improves your productivity and your quality of life.  When you wake up early, take a few minutes to tell yourself that YOU deserve this time YOU are making for YOU!

Write a letter to your future self about a 30-day, 60-day, and 1-year challenge.  What are you going to do for the next 30 days, 60 days, and 1 year that is going to make a difference in your reporting skills?  Where do you see your reporting career in two years, five years?  Will you be the same?  Different?  What specific skills do you want to develop?  Really, sit down and writer that letter and then seal it.  Make a date in your calendar to open it in 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year from now.  Smile when you see how close you are to those goals!

Real growth comes with hard work and sweat.  I have been told numerous times, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”  Pick three things and change your routine up.  Do something different.  Here are some ideas I used.

  • Maybe turn off the TV for two nights a week and practice your dictation.
  • Maybe hire a scopist or proofer to open up another three to five hours a week that you can correct your user.
  • Maybe cut back on some luxury that enables you to afford to not work as much so you can add another 2 hours a week to make briefs, analyze documents, and add words to Dragon after you practice taking down the nightly news.

Put yourself up to a challenge against a colleague.  Competition is one of the best ways to grow.  Compete against a friend to see who achieves the target first.  Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.

Ask for feedback and seek out a mentor.  As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots.  Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective.  Mentors can be friends, family, colleagues, or even your boss.  Ask for and receive their feedback objectively.

Stay focused with to-do lists.  I start my looking at Google Calendar – how did I live without it?  I even schedule a time to walk my dogs as it keeps me focused on the other 3 million things I need to do.  But seeing it on the calendar helps ensure I still to my plan.

Dream BIG – really BIG — Set yourself a Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  A really BHAGs will stretch you beyond your normal dreams since they are BIG and AUDACIOUS – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally.  And set yourself a Big Hairy Audacious Reward.  Life is too short not to reward yourself for a job well done!

Finally, get into action.  How can you take action on this BHAG immediately?  Waiting doesn’t get anything done.  Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes!

Good luck and I hope you will share your success stories with GCCRA – we would love to post them!