Become A Leader In Your Field: 5 Habits You Should Adopt Today

Trends like the rise of automation, digitization, and outsourcing could already be undermining job security. In this environment, organizations might find it much easier to outsourcing to global talent. Further, employers might increasingly find robots and AI can replace human labor.

In the age of digital disruption, it’s more critical than before to differentiate yourself so you can stand out in a competitive workforce. So how can you as an employee enhance your prospects and preserve job security?

The answer could lie in practical, workable strategies like networking, focusing on improvement, and finding ways to be more effective day-to-day. Incorporating these five powerful habits could drive your professional life forward and even see you becoming a leader in your field.

  1. Regularly attend meetups and events in your industry
  2. Networking is widely recognized as a valuable activity, but how many professionals actually make an effort to a network? Building an active network through industry meetups and events not only gives you access to valuable sector information; it’s an opportunity to develop mutually beneficial relationships.

    You could meet new clients or employers, keep your industry knowledge up to date, access insider information, and obtain the support and advice of high-profile people in your sector. Having a strong network can boost your confidence as an industry player. Take into account the fact that you don’t need to network with everyone.

    For the best results, leverage a strategic and targeted approach to networking. Research and consider who has knowledge and experience that could support your success, as well as whose success you can contribute to.

  3. Become a generalist
  4. Generalists have a variety of expertise and experience and can have a unique advantage over their peers or competitors. This is because generalists can be more effective at connecting the dots where others fail to.

    For example, are you in an industry or occupation where automation and AI can easily replace humans in carrying out complex processes? If so, the creativity and innovation you can bring as a generalist could end up being the differentiating factor between career success and having to reskill yourself.

    You can become a generalist by skilling up in areas outside of your expertise. To get started, brainstorm a few different topics you’re interested in even if they’re not directly related to your industry, and draw on resources like career podcasts and books to explore what you might want to learn about. Then sign up for a course or pursue any other appropriate training in these areas.

  5. Review your own performance regularly
  6. Taking an honest look at your own performance can be a powerful step to improvement. This is because it gives you the opportunity to step back, check what you’ve done right and what you can improve upon to look at how you could potentially do things differently.

    By experimenting with new ways to do things, you can constantly innovate to create better outcomes and stay ahead of your competitors. You’re no longer simply reacting to the environment but becoming more proactive and strategic.

    That’s why it is important to allocate time for self-reflection as it lets you challenge your own assumptions and learn from your mistakes. Ultimately, it could give you a new perspective, open up your mind, and boost your confidence as well as your performance.

  7. Practice documenting things you learn or professional challenges you overcome
  8. As you review your own performance, document your insights. For example, keeping a professional journal gives you an opportunity to reflect on your progress. Additionally, the process of simply writing something down can help you think more deeply and allow you to come up with useful ideas and thoughts for improvement.

    Reflecting on challenges you’ve overcome and documenting them also gives you a written record you can look back on, one that boosts your confidence. Whether you use a written journal or prefer to type it out, the act of writing it down forces you to think more clearly and put your ideas into words. This can help “stretch” your IQ while supporting you in taking a step back and gaining perspective on any challenges or issues.

  9. Build a healthy sleep routine
  10. Becoming a leader in your chosen field requires determination, focus and self-care. One of the best ways to maintain productivity with self-care is getting enough sleep. Sleep supports good health, effective learning, focus, and emotional stability; yet, a significant percentage of people don’t get enough sleep.

    If you find it hard to make time for enough sleep in your working week, explore time management strategies so you’re getting everything done during your work hours. Pay attention to the quantity, quality, and regularity of your sleep routine. This means getting enough sleep, ensuring it’s good quality sleep, and following a regular sleep schedule to support your body’s circadian rhythm.

Following practical habits can help you succeed

Broken down to the basics, habits are simply routines of behavior that you repeat regularly. The value of networking, exploring new fields of learning, reviewing your performance, and self-care might seem obvious.

However, in practice, it can be too easy to put off introducing a new habit and keeping at it. The difference between those who do succeed to become recognized experts or leaders in their industry could come down to persisting at these types of high-impact habits.

While the idea of changing your habits can seem like a humble proposition, the right habits, sustained over the medium to long term, can be powerful forces for success, fulfillment, and happiness.

Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.