Want That Promotion? Practice Your Job.

The Wall Street Journal:

As the new year approaches – and with it the inevitable wave of self-improvement plans–we’ve identified 10 strategies for advancing your career in 2013. (Read them all here.)

From recovering from an office blunder to learning why it doesn’t pay to be Mr. (or Ms.) Nice Guy, this ten-point plan offers daily tips on what to do and how to do it.

Mike J. is a venture capitalist who works on Silicon Valley’s famed Sand Hill Road. He’s good at his job–rising from intern to principal in only two years. His secret? An Excel spreadsheet he uses to track how he spends every hour of his workday.

To understand the importance of this spreadsheet, you should first understand the difference between working hard and actually getting better at your job.

Simply put, there’s a difference between doing things you already know how to do and doing things that force you to stretch and improve your skills. Psychology professor K. Anders Ericsson, a leader in this field, explains that a person in a new job usually spends some time training or shadowing someone else to get up to speed, but after that, his or her abilities tend to plateau. Beyond this point, they don’t get much better at their job, though they grow more experienced.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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