If you care about your professional success, then constant development is nothing new to you. In the information society, it’s the individuals that are committed to ongoing learning that reach the career heights. The huge success is closely connected to personal development as well – the subject that gets less attention than the development of certain skills needed to get the job done.
Nevertheless, when personal development at work is given the attention it deserves it helps you achieve truly outstanding results. The matter is, when you care about your personal growth and closely tie your inner needs, the tasks you have to complete and the goals of your organization, this is when the magic happens. Personal development is connected to creating your career plan (here is a well-structured expert advice on career planning: http://resumeperk.com/blog/planning-a-future-career-are-you-for-or-against). Moreover, our resume services are sure that there are multiple benefits in this type of personal growth - you can learn more about them below.
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Indisputable benefits of personal development at work
- It helps you get realistic picture of your skills and knowledge
If you weren’t concerned with your personal development that much before, you probably don’t realize your competencies objectively. Personal growth starts with accessing where you are at the moment, i.e. keeping track of your skills and behaviors. By controlling them, you’ll understand your areas for growth, both professionally and personally. It applies for all types of jobs, even those outside of the office (to find out more about the world’s weirdest and curious jobs, continue reading here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/top-weirdest-jobs-youll-be-curious-to-discover)
- It will boost your motivation
Becoming totally aware of your strengths, weaknesses and level of skills can increase your motivation levels in the long run. How does that work? As you understand your positive and negative attitudes, their consequences and how they affect others, you learn to act differently and more productively. If you are persistent enough, you and the other team members will see the result. And observing the results of your own personal growth will give you a boost of confidence and motivation for even bigger achievements.
If you experience loss of motivation at the moment, read here what may cause it and how to regain motivation for work: LINK.
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- It helps you advance your skills
Personal development at the workplace is closely connected to developing skills needed in your role. Since you’ve realized your areas for improvement, you will know which skills to focus on to achieve your long-term career goals. And, by developing them, you’ll be seen as a more dynamic and proactive to your colleagues and management and maybe will get the desired promotion faster. Sounds attractive, doesn’t it? Moreover, knowing that you develop your personality, not just perform the duties assigned to you, you’ll find it more pleasant to grow and learn more.
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- It will enable you to master goal-setting
Most people get it wrong how to set either professional or personal goals. We tend to dream of something bad that is hard to achieve or, in contrary, focus on minor, day-to-day responsibilities that aren’t taking us anywhere. When you start working on developing your personality, it will require you to create a plan and set smart goals. These goals will be based on the assessment of your current professional level, your professional goals within the organization and your personal objectives and preferences. It’s hard to commit to goals imposed on you; however, when you set goals which are truly yours, you understand how to set goals right and how to break major ones into small, achievable steps.
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- It helps you develop positive attitude to work
The job that doesn’t contribute to our growth and doesn’t allow us to learn and develop ourselves eventually starts to depress us and destroy our motivation. Even though some employers say that you should care of your personal development outside of work, it’s indisputable that work is the perfect site to develop all attributes of your personality. When your work allows you to do so, it helps you feel more inspired and motivated, which results in your success at work.
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- It focuses you on discovering your life purpose
Are you one of those personalities who can say for sure what their life purpose is? Then, you’ll be surprised to find out that finding your calling is one of key topics in personal development. In other words, people often start developing themselves just to identify their goal in life and stick to it.
If you’re still searching, by focusing on accessing your current state both in personal and private life and taking steps for the sake of personal growth will streamline this process. By following your passion and advancing your skills you’ll find your true calling faster. And, as soon as you’ve defined your major goal, you’ll be astonished at how rewarding your professional life can be.
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Personal development at work: where to start
Historically, the success has been measured by academic and professional achievements. The matter of personal growth has been downplayed; nevertheless, millennials are more concerned about this issue than their parents. Moreover, if personal and organizational developments are integrated, we tend to achieve better results and feel more satisfied than if we achieved some goal that doesn’t ring true to us.
One way or another, your personal development is up to you. Here are a few working approaches and tips if you want to advance your life but don’t know where to begin:
Collect the feedback
As we’ve mentioned above, your personal and professional growth starts with understanding of your current state. In other words, to understand the areas for improvement, you need to know both the areas of your strength and the skills you lack in. Collecting feedback from management and coworkers can be a good start.
- Ask for feedback with examples – everyone at work, even clients, can provide you with a piece of valuable information regarding your work. So, don’t be shy to ask to evaluate your work and analyze the feedback.
- Value the constructive criticism – criticism at work is inevitable; so, take it in your stride and use to develop your skills and attitude.
Ask for mentorship/coaching
Coaching is necessary to provide you support and advice for your personal development. It will help you to stay on track when the things get complicated and show the way out when you feel stuck. Moreover, a quality coaching will speed up the process of your development.
- Consult your manager or supervisor. Your direct boss is the perfect mentor candidacy as he observes your work day to day. Make sure he/she understands your career goals and aspiration, as well as personal preferences. In this case, they’ll assign you the tasks which will help you develop faster and better, helping you develop according to your long-term goals in context of organizational goals.
- Partner with a colleague. If you don’t get on well with your boss, try finding a colleague with the same need for personal growth and coach each other. You don’t need to have the same goal in mind; what you’ll need to do is to check in on a weekly basis and report your progress to each other.
Not every subject is okay to discuss with the coworkers. Remember than some topics for conversation don’t belong to workplace, so it’s better to avoid them.
- Find an outside mentor. The company doesn’t allow much space for growth or mentorship opportunities? Try hiring an outside career coach. Having someone by your side will keep you motivated.
Put your hierarchy of needs in order
According to Maslow, a personal development occurs through the process of self-actualization. He suggested that human needs form a pyramid where each need is based on the previous ones. Only when the needs of a lower level are satisfied, you become capable of developing higher ones. At the top of this pyramid he placed self-actualization – the process of individual’s becoming the best he is capable of becoming.
The basic human needs such as food, drink, temperature regulation, sex and sleep are placed at the bottom of this pyramid. Safety, both physical and economical, forms the next level. Third, there goes a need of love and belongingness to some group and society and higher up to self-actualization.
The matter is if your personal development at work isn’t effective enough, maybe, some of your lower-level needs are dissatisfied. Just like it’s impossible to look for a new job without a well-written professional resume, it’s tough to pay all of your attention to developing yourself when you are bothered by poor relationships with family members or cannot trust others. In this case, you’ll need to go back to those needs and resolve any pending issues to fully focus on your personal growth.
Develop yourself through enhancing your skills
As soon as you have defined your areas for growth and aligned your goals with the employer’s expectations from you, it’s time to create a plan for your development. There’s a vast array of possible future goals from you; however, most of the goals people set will require a few skills from the list below. They all help you achieve huge work success and get more satisfied in all areas of your private life.
Time management skills
Ability to organize tasks, prioritize them, schedule into to-do list and complete on time (or just with insufficient delays) – all these skills can be grouped under time management term. Managing tasks and priorities are critical for developing, successful personality. It’s impossible to imagine a respected individual who can’t get work done according to deadlines.
- Eat the frog – time management experts suggest that you start your working day with the most critical or unpleasant task instead of delaying it. This will contribute to your willpower and relieve you from stress for the rest of the day.
- Start planning by scheduling important tasks – put critical tasks into your to-do list first and then add secondary, minor tasks that can be delayed without damage.
- Tight schedule isn’t your friend – it’s impossible to plan every factor that can possibly arise. That’s why it’s important to allocate blank spaces into your schedule, so you will have extra time to complete the task if it happen to require more time than you estimated.
As opposed to multitasking, unitasking is the process of focusing on one activity at a time. And this is considered to be a healthier approach to work than multitasking. The latter isn’t the effective approach to work, except just a few roles (i.e. a manager of a busy store who needs to resolve lots of customer issues on the go). In fact, the habit of multitasking lowers your IQ, boosts stress levels and causes mistakes at work.
Unitasking enables you to focus entirely on the same task for a long time, boosting your concentration and ensuring high quality of work you produce. Moreover, it helps you enter a flow state in which you can work faster and more productively than usual. Mastering work in a flow state will be a huge step for your personal development.
An accomplished career requires physical and mental stamina. Nevertheless, things don’t always go smooth at work, and we all are subjected to workplace stress. Short-time stress isn’t dangerous and can even facilitate your development at work. However, if accumulated, stress can pose a major risk for your mental, physical and emotional help. In the extreme cases it can even lead to clinical anxiety which is actually a disorder requiring professional help.
That’s why it’s critical to manage your levels of stress timely. If this is the routine that prevents you from personal development and causes stress, learn how to get rid from routine at work. Here are a few more techniques for your perusal:
- – meditation makes multiple positive effects on our body and mind, and stress reduction is just one of them. It lets you to relax your body and get away from annoying thoughts, thus helping you get away from stressful obstacles at work.
- Take your time for hobbies – if there’s some activity that you truly enjoy, don’t put it aside to focus on work. Personal development implies that you focus on doing things that bring you satisfaction and joy. So, be sure to allocate some time for your hobby every day (or every other day) – it will help you remain stress-resistant.
- Talk it out – if you feel depressed or anxious, don’t keep the things bothering you within. Talk to your friends, colleagues, family or even therapist – it can reduce your stress levels. Surprisingly, when we speak about our problems aloud, we can unexpectedly come across the solution.
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Workplace conflicts aren’t rare. Conflict is defined as difference in opinion, approaches to work or disagreements of any kind, and may lead to hurt feelings and drop of productivity in the department or company. In any case, if conflict isn’t resolved and handled properly, it will destroy the relationships within the team and lead to a plenty of other unpleasant consequences. That’s why a person with conflict resolution skills is valued in any organization.
Moreover, mastering this skill will develop a plenty of valuable personal qualities in you, such as the ability to make unbiased decisions, be more patient towards other people’s opinions and views and come up with win-win solutions. Basically, conflict resolution involves the followings skills:
- Active listening – as the conflict arbitrator, you’ll need to ask open-ended questions and listen carefully to the answers to understand the nature of conflicts and every point of view objectively.
- Empathy – this skill is about having a look at the situation from different perspective. This will enable you to realize how each party feels about this conflict and encourage them to do the same, helping to evaluate the conflict and its influence in full.
- Creative problem solving – if the conflict exists, this is the sign that a situation couldn’t be resolved using traditional methods. Creativity is the must to offer the solution that will leave both parties satisfied; if creativity isn’t your biggest strength, learn how to get your creative juices flowing.
Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. Since an average worker changes job approximately once in 3 years, passing interviews with brilliance will help your career a lot. Moreover, only the top companies offer lucrative opportunities for personal development, which results in fierce competition for these roles. The more seasoned you are at impressing interviewers and selling yourself as the top candidate for the role, the faster you’ll be getting jobs you like at any stage of your career. This is what you should pay specific attention to:
- Master the basic rules of interviewing – make sure that such trifles as not knowing details of the company or showing up late won’t break it. Learn the key tips for passing interview successfully to get started.
- Practice different interview types – online interview, group interview, phone interview… There are lots of interview types, each with its own peculiarities and recipes for success. Getting accustomed to each type of interview through personal interview preparation and practice will make your personality flexible in any circumstances, and you’ll go a long way.
- End on a good note – how you end the interview determines whether you’ll be remembered or not. The catchy questions for the end of interview will help you stand out from the pool of candidates.
Confidence and emotional intelligence
There’s a strong correlation between your confidence levels and success. Why? Confident individuals at work are perceived as more competent, more easy-going and they are assigned complex projects more often than their coworkers who are shy about their knowledge and skills. That’s why gaining confidence should become one of top priorities for your personal development. Since self-esteem is what you think about yourself, it can – and should – be trained, and the others will see you as a more confident personality.
Emotional intelligence, in its turn, determines how well you communicate with others, your perseverance and self-control. These qualities make you pleasant to work with in a team.
Good written communication
Written communication such as business letters, e-mails, contracts, etc. is not going anywhere and valued in majority of office roles. Mastering clear, concise and accurate writing will help you express your thoughts better and faster and ensure effective communication with teams and stakeholders. Moreover, strong writing skills are the sign of a developed individual.
- E-mail writing: good e-mail writing can be learned, so put mastering this skill into your personal development plan. Grammar, structure, word choice and even signature – everything matters when it comes to writing effective emails.
- E-mail title: When composing an e-mail, it’s important to think of a short yet informative subject line. It’s the subject line that often determines whether the letter will be read or not.
- Business letter writing: during your professional career you’ll have to deal with business letters a lot. This is especially true for cover letters which need to be customized for jobs you apply. Ability to author excellent letters will contribute a lot to your professional image.
Your personal development is totally up to you, and it’s you who set goals and choose to follow them. Nevertheless, work is the perfect place to hone your soft and hard skills. When you align your inner personal development goals with the organization’s objectives, you get the chance to develop both professionally and personally and take your responsibilities more meaningfully.
Moreover, as you grow personally, your relationships with colleagues, subordinates and management will likely improve and you’ll be able to make friends at work.
Make a resume your selling point
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Have you managed to realize your personal development through work? Was this a positive experience?