"If I can dream it, then I can make it happen."
July 10, 2015
It’s difficult to find a person who doesn’t want a promotion. A bigger office, better pay, and higher levels of responsibility are all desirable. Is there a common character trait of people who are highly promotable? And if there is what is it? Curiosity is the trait that will catapult you into promotion after promotion.
Curiosity keeps you humble
The curious person understands their knowledge base is finite. There is more beyond their experience. If you're curious you address each problem with questions, instead of answers. Humility is especially helpful to entry-level job seekers, because it moves you to interact with more established individuals in your field in a way that builds relationships. A quick way to be seen as a bit immature, and ignorant about your ignorance is to believe you’ve got it all figured out.
As author Daniel Dennett says, “If you approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only just scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size.” What you believe you have a firm grasp on now, may be just scratching the surface.
Curiosity leads to new ways of doing things
The toddler who asks why the sky is blue is on to something. When you ask, “Why?” you create a space for something new to exist. Curious people aren’t satisfied with doing things the same way they’ve always been done. They search for new innovative ways of thinking and acting to best optimize the world they live in. When you’re curious in your workspace you’re able to discover entirely new ways of doing what are considered ‘tried and true’ processes. As Einstein said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Curiosity creates large networks
A curious person is not fearful of rejection. If you can maintain your curiosity it will lead to asking questions like, “I wonder if Bill would introduce me to Sally…who happens to know Bill Gates?” For the non-curious individual the question seems absurd, but to the curious anything is possible. An expert from Hospira, Ellen, summed it up like this, “Network, network, network - even when you are not looking for your next opportunity. Cultivating relations with alumni associates, friends of friends, and business partners can help advance your career. Those that master the art of networking no matter the circumstances generally will always have the advantage.”
If you’re looking to advance your career curiosity will most certainly get you there. Whether it’s keeping you humble, inspiring new ways of achieving goals, or expanding your network of connections—curiosity will take you far.