#1 — IT HELPS YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT NEXT
The first place I talk about using curiosity is when exploring new career pathways and possibilities. If you don’t know what you want next in your career, curiosity is going to be your best friend! Because your brain can only show you what it knows and has experienced.
One of my clients has followed a traditional career path, as a lawyer in a major private law firm. She’s also surrounded by a network of friends and colleagues in the same profession. After speaking to someone in a senior commercial role, she learnt her skills were transferrable to an in-house environment — and her mind. was. blown.
Here’s why. Because she realised other career options existed and were available to her. But she had to see real life examples and proof to give her brain the evidence it needed to see what’s possible.
Until you start exploring, talking to people and testing out different career ideas, you’re not going to know what’s possible. As a career skill, curiosity is critical.
The bottom line? When you get curious, you will work out what you want next in your career.
#2 — IT MAKES YOU A MORE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR
Curiosity is essential for effective communication, especially when navigating difficult conversations in business. By adopting a curious, inquisitive state, you’ll ask more questions and show interest in others. Curiosity also improves your active listening, so your focus is on them — not what you want to say.
A client was struggling to have productive conversations with her peers. She became frustrated, as others weren’t considering her ideas. This was leading to confrontation and strained professional relationships.
We explored what was within her control to change and how to adjust her style in these interactions. As a result, she started to approach these conversations with curiosity. This looked like showing up from a more relaxed, authentic place and taking the time to listen before sharing an opinion.
Being curious completely shifted the dynamic of these relationships and her ability to get her ideas across.
Another way to use curiosity in your communication is to ask for permission before sharing your ideas or a different perspective. It’s a softer approach, which tends to get more buy-in from others. My client found people began to open up, listen more and take her ideas on board.
When you bring curiosity to your conversations… you will communicate effectively and create more harmonious relationships.
#3 — IT DEVELOPS YOUR NETWORK + CAREER
Curiosity helps you build powerful relationships to support your development at every stage of your career. Here’s a practical example of a client who’s used curiosity to her advantage in her career over the past 12 months.
In our initial work together, embracing curiosity helped her clarify what she wanted to do next in her career. Later, it assisted her to develop relationships with colleagues, leaders and clients after starting a new job. By asking others about what they do, she’s learnt all about the organisation, come up to speed in her role and built her network, fast.
Finally, by having informal career conversations on an ongoing basis — even when she’s not looking for a job — she’ll stay connected to her network. This is also how new career opportunities will present in future. She may see someone doing work she’d never considered before — or the right role will present at the right time.
Because when you stay curious and keep building your network, you will grow your career organically.
So there you have it. The 3 benefits to cultivating curiosity in your career and how it’s helped my clients and I reach our full potential. I hope these insights support your career too!