3 Tips for Maintaining Your Professional Edge

Sarah Woods SDI News

Everyone loses their edge once in a while. Maybe a series of setbacks has you deflated. Maybe you’ve been busy for so long that you’ve lost sight of the big picture. Maybe you’ve become too comfortable. Losing your edge doesn’t always mean you’re moving backwards, it just means that you’re not moving forward as quickly as you should be.

You can lose your edge and not even realize it. When I joined the SDI team back in September, I began feeling more energized and passionate about my work than I had in a long time. Without knowing it, the SDI team simultaneously showed me that I was in a slump, and effortlessly pulled me out of it.

Everyone needs a shake up every once in a while, which is what I have been lucky enough to find at SDI. If you, too, are in need of a professional pick-me-up, here are three critical components that can make it happen.

  1. Surround yourself with intelligent people.

You won’t grow if you’re always the smartest person in the room. Surrounding yourself with intellectually beige people may give your ego a boost, but it will do nothing to motivate you. Keeping braniacs close by is crucial to staying driven and passionate. I’m not saying you need to go out and find a posse of astrophysicists to hang out with (although wouldn’t that be cool?), but you do need to plant yourself in a place where the people around you have fidgety, critical, inquisitive minds.

  1. Ban boredom.

In this day and age, there is no excuse for boredom. You have more information at your fingertips on a daily basis than the average person in the 1700s encountered  over the course of their lifetime. If you feel like you’re in slump, go find an intelligent person (which hopefully you have already identified per step one) and ask them to share their knowledge. No smarty-pants handy? Pull up Google or Wikipeida right now and discover something new. It doesn’t matter if you are interested in button collecting or advanced string theory, as long as you are aggressively curious and in constant pursuit of knowledge. Soon enough, you won’t even remember what boredom feels like.

  1. Get some Perspective.

If you haven’t been wrong lately then you are either a) not taking enough risks, or b) being humored by those around you. Whether we like to admit it or not, humans love routine and we think inside the box more often than we should. We settle into the way we’ve always done things and miss opportunities because of it. To counter this tendency, keep people close by that aren’t afraid to ask hard questions, challenge your opinions, debunk your theories, and prove you wrong. These are the people that make things faster, better, and more innovative. Chances are, they will make you faster, better, and more innovative, too.

As part of the SDI team, I am lucky enough to check all three of these things off my list when I walk into work each morning. My team members arrive each day with purpose and passion, ready to make big things happen. I watch them challenge, inform, and deliver fresh perspective to their clients, and I am privileged to have them do the same for me.

SDI has helped me find and maintain my edge. If you are interested in how this highly charged team can bring the same benefits to your company, contact me at sthomason@sdiclarity.com today!

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About the Author

Sarah Woods

Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sarah has experience in numerous industries including marketing, event planning, operations, training and development, and consulting. She currently serves as the Director of Solution Design and Development for SDI and leads a talented team of instructional designers, technical developers, and graphic designers to produce highly effective consulting solutions. Her passion lies in overhauling pre-existing processes, assumptions and practices making teams more efficient and highly effective.