Reflecting on Career and Professional Development

stairs of knowledgeBy: Angie Falls

I think about a famous lesson from Confucius around 450 B.C. that illustrates the importance of active engagement and real-time experiences in learning:

“TELL ME, AND I WILL FORGET, SHOW ME, AND I MAY REMEMBER, INVOLVE ME, AND I WILL UNDERSTAND.”

By reflecting on the actions, I took at work and the concrete experiences I had has taught me to recognize that the experiences have shaped a new way of thinking for me.

Communication is one of the most important professional skills that I could develop. I use action-oriented and positive words whenever communicating.

By describing how I perform my work, including skills and tools I use to manage my work tasks give me a clear picture of the past. The learning objectives that I established can highlight the skills that I have developed. I used the PAR strategy to have a clear method to document my accomplishments.

The PROBLEM, ACTION, RESULT formula.

Problem: What was a problem or task that I was assigned to at work?

Action: What action did I take to solve the problem and complete the task?

Result: After my action, what was the result for my organization? I quantify this by using a percentage, a number, or another measure.

I have described this to show that even after following every rule in the book I, unfortunately, did not get the recognition in my work which I had worked so hard for. Every year I got the message from my superiors that I had to be patient and the right time would come. We are 4 years further and the superiors changed along but still no recognition. Co-workers around me shared their successful steps ahead and the recognition they got. I tried to stay positive and motivate myself to focus on my work and the development of the organization.

I decided that I wanted to set a better example by paying attention to my progress. I even started managing the organization through being alert on the organizational developments in the department and across. Fulfilling my tasks and duties of my job description was probably not enough. I started going another extra mile. This was also very well possible in an ever-changing culture at my work with resistance all around.

I began reading studies on change management and the change management process. Humans do not like change. In fact, we fear change and anything associated with it. We feel disrupted and insecure. Such a time past by me since I embraced change and innovation as a new challenge. A challenge to teach me new things. I can enrich myself with these new experiences. Especially in my company where I have the privilege to meet new people every week. People from around the world who share with me their stories of culture, life, and education. I like engaging with them to give me a global sense of life through new perspectives of life itself.

After reflecting on my career and professional development I move on climbing the stairs of knowledge.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

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