A recent NY Times article focuses on a group of women in their 90s that play bridge with each other regularly. Researchers believe there are a couple of components to longevity - social interaction and using the mind. The game of bridge has both.
Similarly when you are managing your career, you want to make sure to have lots of social interactions with like minded people (networking) and you also want to challenge your mind in way that helps you to grow intellectually in your chosen profession or occupation.
Meaningful work is work that enables you to grow both intellectually and interpersonally. Here are 10 Tips that will put you on the road to longevity and career growth at the same time!
1. Read current periodicals in your profession or occupation. To stay current in your profession or occupation read the journals, newsletters and magazines that are thought to be important in your profession or occupation. You may not have time to read the periodical from cover to cover but you can scan the table of contents to pick the one or two articles that are most pertinent to you.
2. Know the hot topics in your profession or occupation. Use Google Alerts to bring you information daily on those hot topics. What are the buzz words that everyone is using? Start to form your own opinion about the trends you see in the industry.
3. Read books related to your field. Identify the thought leaders in your particular field and read the books that they write. If you see a new trend on the horizon explore it and read books related to it.
4. Read books and periodicals in other areas too. Look for ways to integrate your field to another area and read up on that area too. Try to develop a unique perspective or expertise so that you can distinguish yourself from others in your field.
5. Write articles and/or speak at meetings. Speak and write about current topics in your field where you have developed an expertise. Get known by others in your field and related fields. Become known as a thought leader.
6. Use social networking to expose people to you and your ideas. Write articles for your blog. Comment on someone else's blog. Answer questions that others ask online. Share your expertise with others online through a newsletter, blog or postings to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
7. Don't stay behind the computer or books and magazines. Get out and socialize! Join business groups, mentoring circles, and professional associations to meet people with common interests. Go to or invite others to a Tweetup. (Gathering of 2 or more people who know each other through Twitter)
8. Start a group of your own. Start a business book club where you read the latest business books and get together to discuss them. Are there several people in your networking sphere that have something in common? Working mothers perhaps who want to share time management ideas for example. Socializing for business purposes should be fun and useful.
9. If groups are hard for you, have coffee with a colleague instead. Try meeting someone new every week at work. If you work in a small office where you know everyone, find a new person in your building or in another office that does work you are curious about. Expand your network with both mental and social growth in mind. Spend time with people from whom you can learn and grow.
10. Pay it forward. Be open to helping others. When you begin to build relationships with others, start by helping people get what they want. To do this you could introduce them to someone they are interested in meeting, you could provide them with information they ask about, or you could refer a potential client or referrer to them. It is said that you have to give to get so begin by giving.
Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor for Attorneys and a Career Coach as well as publisher of Parker's Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine with career and business information. Subscribe now to these free monthly publications at her website free monthly publications and receive a free values assessment along with your subscription.