So what's the difference between a star performer who can name his/her salary and get whatever job he wants, and someone who can't? Very successful people tend to put a lot of effort into improving themselves. Coach Dean Smith of the University of North Carolina talks about how when he first noticed Michael Jordan, he didn't see NBA material.
Jordan didn't even make his high school's varsity basketball team. However, the UNC basketball clinic accepted Michael for a summer training program because he was quick on his feet and showed potential. Coach Smith talks about how his staff was amazed at the amount of effort Michael put into practicing and learning the skills that ultimately made him a great basketball player.
Michael Jordan didn't stop learning how to be a great player in that high school clinic though. He kept on practicing and learning until he got into the NBA. Then he kept at it more and more until it just became a way of life. He even was able to apply the same skill of continual learning to become a good baseball and golf player.
People like to talk about how Michael fell short of expectations in these other sports but the reality is his being able to transition to those other sports was nothing short of amazing, even though he wasn't able to play at the level of athletes who had been playing those other sports as long as he'd been playing basketball.
If you want to make more money and to be able to command the types of positions you really want, you need to adopt a Michael Jordan attitude. When continued learning and growth becomes a habit and it's integrated into your lifestyle, you'll find yourself moving into a whole new echelon of career success. Continued growth is the key to being able to compete in today's era of globalization and high unemployment. Hopefully by now you're excited about the idea of integrating continual learning into your career.
How can you do this? Well for one thing, successful people tend to maximize a concept that Human Resource professionals call "job stretch." Job stretch is the difference between what your skills are now and the skills that are required to perform a certain set of functions. Successful people seek to make their job stretch as wide as possible while still being able to do their job really well. This means volunteering for that project at work that you might have to spend some extra time researching to be able to do well. And it means applying for jobs that require slightly more expertise than you currently have, rather than slightly less.
Having job stretch can make your work more engaging and exciting.Another way to integrate continual learning is through formal education. This includes taking classes, earning degrees and certifications, reading, and generally absorbing knowledge in all ways possible. It used to be that taking classes meant committing to lengthy courses at a local university, which also required spending more time away from your family and loved ones.
With the invention of the Internet, it's now possible to take classes online from accredited universities and technical schools. We have done some research and found a number of high quality online education offerings.
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