If people allocated as much time and money into their career development as they do their personal hobbies, the return would be exponential. They would get better, which would result in earning more money, and the improvement would make them happier with their careers and help them become more confident. The sense of pride someone gets from a job well done also carries over into their personal life and mental well-being. It's a ripple effect.

Those serious about advancing in their role attack it like an athlete hitting the gym. They lift heavier weights to tear muscles to then build muscle strength. In the workplace, it's someone taking on harder projects to make mistakes, learn and grow. It's making themselves stronger and more competent.

You also don't stop training once you get into management...that's when the real investment and learning begins.  Always stay focused on improving your skills. These are five easy ways to continue learning as a manager:

  1. Toastmasters: it's all over the country, and it's free. It will improve your public speaking, open you to stepping out of your comfort zone, and give you some networking time.
  2. Excel tutorials: There are classes at most community colleges, as well as computer learning centers and online.
  3. MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses. They aren't for everyone; however, you can learn a lot from them.
  4. Classes at your local colleges: Management, finance, marketing, there are so many things to augment what you already know.
  5. Associations: No matter your industry, there is usually an association that offers ongoing education classes and seminars.

Push yourself; invest in training that will help expand your strengths, and don't shy away from challenges--embrace them. Doing that consistently is how you pump up your career.