By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager
Learning new things can be uncomfortable but it’s a crucial part of growing your career.
“Sometimes the behaviors that got you to one place in your career aren't going to get you to the next level,” said Lori Kaiser, CPA. “You constantly have to be growing new behaviors and shedding old ones.”
Kaiser, the CEO and founder of Kaiser Consulting and an OSCPA Executive Board member, joined the State of Business podcast this week to discuss the benefits in learning new behavior. She said it’s not enough to simply let the tide of your everyday activities achieve your goals: you need to be intentional.
This requires some self-reflection, Kaiser said, and looking internally to consider what behaviors might be holding you back. This also might mean reaching out to others you trust and asking about ways you can improve.
And when you’re looking to others for guidance, Kaiser suggested remaining open-minded. Some of what you hear might surprise you or make you feel defensive, but it’s valuable to learn from this constructive criticism to push yourself.
“You like to do the things that you already know that you do well and doing the things that are outside your comfort zone takes a constant push in the right direction,” she said. “And even I would notice when I would learn a new skill, I would slowly gravitate back to some of the things I used to be doing because they're more comfortable.”
There’s bravery needed in trying new things, Kaiser said, and knowing you won’t be perfect, or maybe even good, at a new skill for a while. You need to embrace the discomfort and understand it’s a normal part of growth.
“Change is hard. You need to be persistent,” Kaiser said. “And it's not how many times you try to change your behavior. It's the fact that you get back up and keep at it. And if you're persistent, you'll get to the goals that you set for yourself.”
Listen to the podcast episode available now.
For more learning on this topic, check out the 15 Laws of Growth in MyOSCPA.