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Your list of career goals might look like this:
- Negotiate an increase before the end of 2020.
- Achieve promotion to a management position within the next five years.
- Start your own business in the next decade.
- Become an expert in your chosen field.
- Get a job at a new company.
No doubt you will have given some thought to the stepping stones that will lead you to where you want to be. However, many employees overlook the importance of addressing personal development to ensure long-term career success.
Here is the distinction.
Personal development is the continuous process of self-improvement that allows you to be the best version of yourself. The skills and abilities you will acquire through a focus on personal development will largely consist of soft or “essential” skills.
By refining the quality of your thoughts and devoting time to improving your health and well-being, you will strengthen your sense of identity and become more confident and effective as a person, both at work and in your life. personal life.
Professional development is the process of developing your knowledge and skills in areas that will directly enhance your career potential. This may include taking on additional responsibilities, studying for a new qualification, taking training courses or furthering your knowledge in areas related to your role.
The skills you will develop by doing this will make you more efficient and effective at your job. They will build your reputation in the workplace.
Why is personal development as important as professional development?
There is no doubt that personal development will help you grow professionally, although it can be more difficult to measure it quantitatively. By focusing on the essential aspects of yourself, you will likely find that your career progresses quickly and seamlessly.
Here are four reasons.
1. It encourages you to step out of your comfort zone.
One area of personal development is to question your weak points, which will serve to push you out of your comfort zone. In the workplace, this will likely result in aspects of your role that you don’t like or are least able to perform. By facing them head-on, your experience and confidence will increase.
2. It boosts your self-esteem
Personal development can involve learning a new skill, taking up a hobby, or reading more broadly. Checking off self-assigned goals is a natural boost to confidence. When you feel good about yourself and your abilities, your job performance will be better.
3. It helps you determine your priorities
Taking the time to focus on your personal development will force you to become more self-aware by examining your core values, motivations, and life ambitions. You will learn new things about yourself and possibly realign your priorities, which will impact your job performance. This period of introspection could even trigger a major career change.
4. It improves your work-life balance
Hopefully, focusing on personal development will encourage you to seek a healthy work-life balance, if you don’t already have one. You may decide that you need to find more time for yourself and your loved ones and take better care of your mental health.
How to focus on personal development
There is no right or wrong way to engage in personal development. Ultimately, you need to approach this process in a way that works for you, whether that means focusing on improving your well-being or working on your pain points. Here are some options to consider.
- Commit to improving your public speaking skills.
- Take up a new hobby.
- Learn a language.
- Focus on actively listening to those around you.
- Read widely. Read various authors, non-fiction and fiction. Learn about history, culture, and politics, as well as the experiences of people different from you. This in turn will help you develop your emotional quotient (EQ).
- Work to improve your time management and assess your work-life balance.
- Try to develop a growth mindset.
- Go out of your way to meet new people.
- Focus on self-care.
- Learn to accept change.
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