Curiosity – maybe curiosity is what made you click on this article in the first place. But what is curiosity, and how can you leverage curiosity skills to advance your career?
What is curiosity? It has been defined as “a desire to learn more.” When you’re curious, you are genuinely interested in a subject. You spend your free time seeking information about it or experiencing it.
Why is curiosity valuable in the workplace? You might assume that the best employees already know their industry and the technology they use, inside and out. But in reality, curious employees are driven and willing to learn. They are always improving themselves and their work. They are not stagnant. And that is valuable.
Here, we’ll discuss three curiosity skills: applied curiosity, knowledge, and innovation. If you’re curious about how to build a better resume that includes curiosity skills, check here.
What Is Applied Curiosity?
Curiosity is a natural desire to learn, but applied curiosity means using curiosity to do specific things. In the workplace, applied curiosity can help you avoid “blind spots” by seeing things others miss, making more informed decisions, and increasing your influence. Curiosity is considered a top leadership trait.
As such, applied curiosity is not just meandering research about your personal interests. It involves cultivating an interest in all aspects of your business, even those aspects that are outside the scope of your daily tasks.
Applied curiosity also involves asking questions, problem-solving, and thinking critically. When you improve the quality of your questions, you can guide conversations, eliminate confusion, strengthen relationships, and find the answers you seek.
Curiosity Leads to Knowledge and Learning
If you are a curious person, you will consistently seek out more knowledge. This can strengthen your professional skills in several ways. First, you can increase your knowledge of skills, tools, processes, or the like that are directly involves in your work.
Once you identify what work-related subjects you are curious about, feed that curiosity. For example, if you are curious about tech, gadgets, and computers, you can use a resource like Better Tech Tips to explore subjects ranging from blogs to drone photography to desktop computing. When you apply what you learn, your workplace performance will benefit.
Interestingly, curiosity also makes it easier to learn new things in the future. How? When you are used to the “flow” of taking in knowledge, your learning skills grow. Yes, learning is also a skill, and it improves with practice. Sharp learning skills make you more agile and able to adapt to changes in the industry, technology, or other work practices. This too will improve your work performance.
Curiosity Fosters Innovation
The professional network LinkedIn made this statement about curiosity: “Curiosity, used strategically, can not only improve the way we work, it can also transform the way we think by allowing us to see creative solutions that may be missed by others, make wiser decisions and increase our influence.”
According to LinkedIn Learning Instructor and founder of Applied Curiosity Lab Becki Saltzman, curiosity also “future-proofs” our careers. She said, “Only curiosity inspires the questions that generate the answers we don’t yet have access to. Without curiosity, new answers will cease to exist.”
In other words, when your curiosity leads you problems that have not yet been solved or approaches that have not yet been tried, the result is innovation. Since curiosity also increases your knowledge, you likely have a larger foundation or knowledge base on which to build. You can use that knowledge to manufacture innovative solutions.
Your curiosity causes you to innovate, to come up with something brand new. Sometimes, that moment may be the highlight of your career.
How to Include Curiosity on Your Resume
You could consider listing “applied curiosity” in your skills section. You may also demonstrate curiosity with other terms like “inquisitive,” “adaptable,” “agile,” or phrases such as “always seeking improvement” or “willingness to learn.”
You can also show this quality by including certifications on your resume. Additional certifications above the minimum required for the position lend themselves to the idea that you are a knowledge-seeker.
Another option is to include a brief section on interests and hobbies. While generally not recommended, interests can demonstrate curiosity. Make sure that any hobbies you include are relevant and appropriate to the company culture.
Curiosity is a trending workplace skill. Applied curiosity helps foster leadership skills and solve problems. Curiosity also leads to an increase in knowledge and innovation.