Thanks to Baby Center, I keep track of development of my kids. In doing so, something that always interests me are they reaching a Cognitive Milestone – a specific mental development event where the kid grasps a key reality or concept. An example is Object Permanence, where the infant starts understanding that things exist even if they are not observable. That is the reason he looks for you when you are not around. That is why he cries when you leave the room.
One’s professional growth should see some professional cognitive milestones as well. These are the indicators of growing up. They are the Aha or Eureka moments. Missing such milestones leads one to conclude that wisdom and experience may not be necessarily related.
One such professional milestone is when one fathoms the difference between networking and building relationships – terms most often used interchangeably. Its reaching the understanding that building and maintaining solid relationships are critical to one’s professional growth – simply being connected to others is not enough. There have been studies that have proved that the best and most effective knowledge workers have the strongest relationships and derive great learning and value from them.