Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why Should We Have A Professional Life?

Many will say that we all need a job to earn money and satisfy our basic and personal needs. This is true at a certain extent but money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness. One shouldn’t think that he or she is richer because of money that he or she owns. Try looking at the picture. You are richer by the experiences you gain in life, by your ability to interact with others and by the person you grow day after day. In the following lines, I want to share with you why one must have a professional life. Believe it or not, when the clock hits 6 AM in the morning, I almost never want to get up from my bed because my sleep is priceless. However I then remind myself that I want my worth to increase with time so today is another opportunity for me to prove myself.

Education has allowed you to gain knowledge and skills and thus, the work environment you belong to is the place to apply them into practice. Knowledge is infinite, so you will always be exposed to new concepts. A good understanding of those concepts will keep you going on. The same goes with skills, i.e. you’ll develop either new skills or reinforce the skills you have for the better. With this, you’ll gain experience and this is how your value will increase in this world. If you can get the basic tasks done properly, you’ll get new responsibilities and the level of difficulty will increase with time. With new challenges, you get to combine many of your work related concepts and skills together and you’ll be surprised of the results at the end. Don’t ever underestimate how a combination of your basic knowledge and skills can solve something that seems like a big issue.

We need various experiences to enrich ourselves and as the world is constantly changing, let it be technology or anything else, we need to have an idea of how much we’re able to do and what is the next level of responsibility we can take. Another key point about having various experiences is that you’ll be quickly able to switch from one task to another and to pick up one from where you’ve left. Ask yourself whether you’d be happy with routine all the time? For many of you, I doubt the answer is yes. Therefore, the best way to escape routine is to be ready for new opportunities that knock on your door and at least give them a try. The outcome may be positive or negative but you’ll be the winner because you got a new experience. The more you accomplish, the more you will want to do and by exceeding people’s expectations, you will be assigned greater challenges.

A second interesting aspect of having a professional life is the ability to interact with others and share your knowledge and skills. I believe what makes a job fun is the people you have to work with. Team spirit is the key for a pleasant work environment unless you prefer working with nobody around, it’s indeed a personal choice. I personally have had and still have amazing coworkers and I see myself progressing in life thanks to them. Having the opportunity to work with coworkers allows you to exchange your knowledge and skills and as you get enriched, you also get to contribute in others’ career. I’ll give a simple personal example here: I enjoy every opportunity I get to make my colleagues understand something that may not be clear to them. No question is stupid whether it comes from a junior or a senior; my day is made when I solve a puzzle in someone’s mind. We are human beings, we’re not perfect and we all need time to understand, apply and grasp the concepts we’re taught. Sometimes, it’s just about saying the same thing in different words and we become so helpful to our colleagues.

Interacting with others makes the work environment more lively rather than boring and dead. A smile on your face and a positive attitude that shows you’re willing to cooperate can totally make a difference in someone’s day. From my personal experience, I’ve seen some of my coworkers getting stressed out in situations where a mistake has happened and they weren’t able to think of an efficient solution to solve it. I then proposed a very simple solution that would come to my mind and their anxiety disappeared in less than two minutes. This type of scenario makes me and would also make you feel valuable and you would be helping someone and release him or her from any extra useless stress.

The third and biggest advantage of having a professional life is to discover more about yourself and this definitely makes you feel that you’re growing. When you’re at work, you surely feel some kind of pressure in order to show that you are strong and competent in the tasks you’re assigned to. If you’re able to complete well a task under stressful situations, it’s a good sign. From those circumstances, you get to learn more about how you can handle difficulties and this is always a work-in-progress task. Sometimes you may think that you’re not good enough for a task but as you get the opportunity, you’ll get to prove yourself wrong and that’s in fact amazing. At the end, you’ll just find out more about your strengths and weaknesses.

Besides the above, you also get to find out more about your likes and dislikes. Be realistic. You don’t need to like every task that’s assigned to you. It takes some courage to admit it but if you know you don’t like it, half of the work is done, i.e. you will be more productive on tasks that you like. There are always tons of opportunities around, so try the ones that come to you as you never know if they may open new doors to your career. As they often say, it’s just a matter of stepping out of your comfort zone and that’s when the fun begins.

Apart from the three main ideas I discussed, pay attention to how your coworkers respond to the efforts you put in. They may also play a huge role in bringing out the best traits in you. Don’t ignore their words. If they see a lot of potential in you, then believe in them. Take the time to think about how you can go beyond the expectations you’ve set for yourself. I personally believe that hard work cannot kill anybody but you can die of boredom. Sure, I haven’t died yet of boredom but I’ve sometimes felt that I was working beyond my capacities but as soon as I’d get recognized by my peers, I was more motivated to exceed the expectations set for me and I felt like I was stronger than I thought I was. Thus, don’t be afraid of working hard, and as they say "If you ever feel like giving up, remember that there’s someone out there that looks up to you. Do it for them. "

Having a professional life can be interesting if you know what you’re looking for. I am not saying money is not important but you’ll be much happier if you look beyond your pay. It’s really up to you to make the best out of your job. We all have a right for respect so no job is smaller than the other. The points I shared with you are how I myself look at my professional life. Of course that doesn’t mean that I am happy every day at work but I know I’ve given my best at the end of the day. Finally, I think my professional life has taught me what it means to be happy and that’s something I gradually learned to apply in my personal life. There were so many things about myself that I wasn’t aware of and I am still discovering them. So be optimistic and keep in mind that a positive attitude is definitely the starting key to an interesting journey.

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