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Best Practices for Strengthening Your Professional Weaknesses

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It doesn’t matter how skilled you are in your career – or how far you’ve advanced – you’re always going to have weaknesses. And if you want to continue improving, you have to deal with these weaknesses sooner rather than later.

The Backwards Approach to Professional Development

Have you ever noticed that most of the workforce (and most people in general) have a backward approach to professional development?

As humans, we have this desire to feel important. And one of the ways we feel important and fulfilled is by leveraging our strengths and skills. When we’re good at something, we typically enjoy doing it (and want to do more of it). When we’re bad at something, it makes us feel inadequate – so we avoid it.

But if we only do the things we’re naturally good at and avoid the things we’re not skilled at, we don’t actually improve. We end up staying the same. Worse yet, we often get burned out and see a decline in the areas where we were once proficient.

The real purpose of professional development is to lean into weaknesses and refine the areas where we’re inadequate. And though it’s not comfortable to do this, it provides far more growth. 

5 Tips for Strengthening Your Weaknesses

If you want to develop as a professional, it starts with identifying your weaknesses and being willing to address them. Here are some tips to help you strengthen your shortcomings:

  • Set Specific Goals

If you’re going to go through the discomfort of strengthening your weaknesses, you need a plan. Setting very specific goals will give you a target to reach for. As you get closer to this goal, you’ll feel yourself making progress. This will provide further energy and motivation.

If your weakness is public speaking, for example, having a goal of giving a 10-minute presentation at a company event by the end of the year will give you something tangible to strive for.

  • Spend Time With the Right People

You become the combination of the people you spend the most time with. Make sure you’re spending time with people who help you grow, rather than people who make you comfortable.

Find two or three people who are already skilled in the area where you’re weak. Take them out to lunches and dinners. Ask questions, gather feedback, and solicit advice. It’ll be awkward and painful at times. But it’ll spur on growth. 

  • Invest in Continuing Education

If you’re in an industry where continuing education is required in order to remain actively licensed, you know the shortcuts. Most of your peers have figured out how to take the easiest classes and courses so they can skate by. (You’ve probably done it yourself in the past.) But if you want to grow, use continuing education as an opportunity to strengthen your weaknesses.

If you’re a respiratory therapist, for example, don’t take respiratory therapy CEU’s on ethics and professional boundaries if that’s something you’re already familiar with. If you know you’re lacking in knowledge on chronic progressive lung disease, that’s the course you need to take.  

  • Leverage Strengths to Tackle Weaknesses

One of the best things you can do is leverage a strength to tackle a weakness. Take a weakness in public speaking as an example. While you might be totally lacking in this area, you know you have a strength in woodworking. Rather than giving a speech on something that you know nothing about, you could give a presentation on woodworking. If nothing else, your knowledge of this topic will give you more confidence.

  • Take it Step by Step

You don’t have to eat the whole enchilada at once. The best way to tackle a weakness is by addressing it one bite at a time. A step-by-step approach allows you to slowly improve your skills and build confidence.

Start by giving a one-minute speech in the mirror with nobody watching. Then challenge yourself to record yourself giving a presentation and upload it on YouTube. Next, do a Facebook Live where you present on a topic for five minutes. Then do it in person with a small audience. Then a larger audience, etc.

When you take this step-by-step approach, your weakness of public speaking (or whatever it is) becomes much more manageable. Try this strategy and see what you think.

Get Ready to Grow

Growth is rarely easy or painless. It requires effort, energy, time, and confrontation. But when it’s all said and done, professional development has a refining impact. It could take months or years, but your willingness to tackle your weaknesses head-on will produce positive results. Stay with it!

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Lifestyle

How Dan Helmer is Inspiring Virginia’s Next Generation

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Virginia’s future depends on nurturing and empowering its next generation of leaders. Dan Helmer is the visionary leader committed to mentoring and supporting future leaders to ensure a brighter tomorrow for all Virginians. With his extensive background in military service and public office, Helmer brings a wealth of experience, dedication, and a passion for guiding young talent.

Mentoring and Supporting Future Leaders

Dan Helmer’s approach to leadership emphasizes the importance of mentorship and support for the youth. His policies focus on providing educational opportunities, fostering innovation, promoting civic engagement, and creating pathways for young leaders to thrive.

A Proven Mentor and Leader

Helmer’s distinguished career in the United States Army, where he served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has equipped him with a profound sense of duty, resilience, and leadership. These qualities have been instrumental in his work as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, where he consistently champions initiatives that empower and inspire young Virginians.

Educational Opportunities for All

Education is fundamental to Helmer’s vision for a prosperous Virginia. He advocates for increased funding for public schools, competitive salaries for teachers, and expanded access to early childhood education. Helmer also champions vocational training programs that equip students with practical skills for high-demand jobs. By prioritizing education, Helmer ensures that Virginia’s youth are prepared for future challenges.

Investing in Educators:

  • Helmer believes that teachers are key to the success of the education system. He supports policies that provide educators with the resources they need to excel, ensuring that students receive the highest quality education possible.

Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Helmer understands that fostering innovation is crucial for future success. He supports initiatives that encourage young entrepreneurs, provide access to startup capital, and create mentorship programs. Helmer’s vision includes modernizing infrastructure, expanding broadband access, and investing in emerging industries to create opportunities for young innovators.

Supporting Young Entrepreneurs:

  • Helmer is dedicated to empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs. He advocates for policies that provide financial assistance, reduce regulatory burdens, and offer resources for innovation and growth.

Promoting Civic Engagement

Helmer believes that civic engagement is essential for a healthy democracy. He encourages young Virginians to get involved in their communities, understand the political process, and take on leadership roles. Helmer’s initiatives aim to foster a sense of responsibility and active participation among the youth.

Engaging Youth in Politics:

  • Helmer supports programs that educate young people about civic duties and encourage them to participate in local government, ensuring they have a voice in shaping their communities.

Creating Pathways for Leadership

Helmer is committed to creating pathways for young leaders to emerge and succeed. He supports mentorship programs, leadership training, and opportunities for youth to engage with experienced leaders. Helmer’s vision includes building networks that connect young talent with mentors who can guide and support their development.

Leadership Development Programs:

  • Helmer advocates for programs that provide young people with leadership skills, practical experience, and the support they need to become effective leaders in their communities.

Inspiring Virginia’s Future Leaders

Dan Helmer’s leadership is characterized by his unwavering commitment to mentoring and supporting the next generation of Virginians. His progressive approach to governance and dedication to youth empowerment set him apart as a leader who truly understands the importance of investing in future leaders. Helmer’s focus on education, innovation, civic engagement, and leadership development reflects his deep commitment to the well-being and success of all Virginians.

As Virginia looks toward the future, the need for leaders like Dan Helmer is clear. His blend of military discipline, public service dedication, and visionary thinking makes him the ideal candidate to inspire and guide the next generation. Elect Helmer, and his leadership promises not just to address immediate challenges but to create lasting, positive change that will benefit generations to come. With Dan Helmer at the helm, Virginia is poised for a future defined by strong leadership, innovation, and opportunity for all.

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