Advancing Your Skills through Deliberate Practice

When someone is hired by a company, the company must have been sure that the person has all the qualifications they need. Or at least, they see the potential of what this new hire can be. However, to be able to work productively, it is not enough to only bring to the table what you are currently having. It is safe to say that increasing and developing your skills are also important by the time you start working in a company. Moreover, currently we have a more competitive job market which requires us to keep learning and growing.

In regards, one of many ways an employee can do is a deliberate practice. A deliberate practice can be considered as well planned and organized practices. However, be noted that routine works and repeating tasks that are not followed by improvements, cannot be considered as a deliberate practice. That is why, there are a lot of workers with quite long working experiences arrive at the point where their careers are stagnant of even being left behind by the new hires or younger workers.

According to three experts from the Berlin Academy of Music, K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch, someone could be considered as an expert on the world level if they already have at least 10.000 of working hours. But it is not 10,000 hours of work or practice that is only repeated but 10,000 hours of truly deliberate practice. To understand whether the practice or work that we do includes deliberate practice or not, you need to understand some features of deliberate practice.

First, you will need someone to be your mentor at work. They will help you to figure out your strength and weakness through regular evaluation and feedback. This is central to the advancement of your career as they help you to expose new experiences and point of views. Hence, the openness towards feedback and suggestion are necessary.

Second, go out of your comfort zone. People who only want to do work that are comfortable for them are not going anywhere. In growing and stepping up the level, we should be ready to face the challenge of being uncomfortable in the process. Therefore, we need to transform ourselves to be used to the inconvenience as a continuous learning process. At certain times, we need to design programs that are uncomfortable in order for our minds, hearts and muscles contract and eventually get used to doing something that feels heavy at first.

Do you have the openness towards feedback and suggestion from your mentor? Or do you have programs that require you to go out from your comfort zone? If so, continue doing these as the bridge to your skills and career advancement.

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