Practicing Your Profession

by Joe Lavelle on December 10, 2012

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Although I have never had the opportunity to ask him myself, I can state with pretty strong confidence that the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma still practices nearly every day.  He runs through his scales, pays attention to the fullness of his tone, and maybe even allows a few moments just to think about his posture.

Tom Brady is a Super Bowl champion quarterback who undoubtedly has earned a place in the Hall of Fame.  Still, this leader of the Patriots shows up to training camp and participates in two-a-day drills in the heat of August just like the rookie whose name no one can remember.

If these professionals continue to “practice” their work, why should we be any different?

In a new article for the CNN Money website, writer Laura Vanderkam advocates that all workers identify areas within their everyday tasks that could use some development and then incoporate a habit of practice into their daily schedules.

Have you been crafting your PowerPoint slides the same way for the past five years?  Spend fifteen minutes watching a tutorial and then practice designing a few slides that no one ever has to see.  Are you in sales and maybe you haven’t stopped to think that the opening pitch you have been using could use a little tweaking?  See if a co-worker will be willing to play the role of potential buyer as you try out some new language and tactics.

We all have the ability to get rusty or fall into routines when we become comfortable with our work.  But, there is always room for improvement.  And, when we can feel as if we are learning and evolving in our career path, we are more determinted to grab onto that momentum and ride it forward to even greater success.

So, how do you practice at work?  In what ways are you making sure that your skills are better when 2013 starts than when we turned the calendar to start 2012?

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