It's an unfortunate statistic that most of today's workers aren't happy on the job. If you fall into that category, it could be that you're neglecting to do one key thing: keep learning. According to LinkedIn, employees who spend time learning at work are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel productive and successful, 23% more equipped to take on new responsibilities, and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy in their roles.
If you haven't been making an effort to learn on the job, you've likely been doing yourself a major disservice. The good news? It's not too late to boost your knowledge base, and if you do, your on-the-job satisfaction will likely follow suit. Here's how to start.
1. Get yourself a mentor
Getting a mentor is a great way to learn from someone who's more experienced than you. Even if your company doesn't have a formal mentoring program in place, it doesn't mean you can't approach someone you respect and ask him or her to offer some ongoing guidance. Once you have a mentor, you may be more likely to ask questions freely without worrying about being judged, and you might have an easier time picking up on strategies you wouldn't have uncovered on your own.
2. Shadow employees in other areas of the business
If you work for a larger employer, there are probably different areas of the business you've yet to begin to explore. If you're eager to learn more on the job, a good way to do so is to make an effort to shadow employees whose roles are completely different than yours. Gaining than exposure will help make you a more well-rounded employee, and it may even open the door to new opportunities in the future. Besides, building relationships on a companywide basis certainly doesn't hurt.
3. Observe your most successful peers
Maybe there's a colleague on your team who knows how to rock a presentation like nobody's business. Or maybe you work with someone who's great at analyzing data, or crafting the most compelling marketing copy you've seen in your day. Working among talented individuals offers you a real opportunity to boost your own skills, so to this end, invest some time into observing your most successful colleagues on the job. Better yet, make your intentions clear, and ask your peers for advice on how to emulate some of their most impressive behavior. Chances are, they'll be happy to share some of their secrets.
The more of an effort you make to learn on the job, the happier you're likely to be on a whole. That said, you don't need to limit that learning to office hours alone. You should certainly aim to boost your knowledge base on your own time, whether by taking courses, attending conferences, or simply reading up on industry trends. Doing so will make you a far more valuable employee, and that's reason enough to put in that time.