Do you have a bumpy career? Not sure how to progress with a bit lofty career aspirations of yours? Feeling inadequate because all you had was a great job with a handsome paycheck that could give you some transient respite?
I can give you one common answer to all – and more – of these questions: it’s time to build and sustain your competitive edge. And by an edge, it’s not short-lived; it’s immersing yourself into lifelong learning and self-education that will bring your fruits for your labor when you pick up more competitive roles in your workplace.
So what does life-long learning include?
Reading paperback books written by professors, authors, artists, creative professionals, and more disruptive writers, who think different and also sometimes a bit similar when it comes to building a pattern of doable, practical content.
But like I said, building a competitive advantage takes time, intellectual investment into books, listening to podcasts, attending workshops and seminars. And then, creating something out of it: be it launching your blog, co-hosting a podcast to further delve into healthy rationalizations or writing your first e-book, or a manifesto.
So how do you tighten this process and create something out of it that makes you stand out in the highly competitive workplace?
Answer: Learn to synthesize your knowledge that you consume from your education. We have arrived into a world of convergence, where information is not siloed; it’s integrated and coherent. As with your career, you will although find people expert in their respective niches, you will also see them as great synthesizers of learning from different niches towards converging ideas and perspectives so that the company thinks more holistically.
Your biggest edge is your knowledge: that compounds with every book you read, or every podcast you listen to. So keep multiplying your efforts into life-long learning – and you will only become a better version of yourself in your career, and life.
What’s your edge?