Truth is, you probably have heard personal and career development over a million times and it seem to be overused or over flogged. But trust me, it does deserve to be over flogged. Every successful person we see today is a product of one development or another. Either personal, career or any form of development that has led to their growth.
If I ask what personal and career development means to some people, we’d have different answers and everyone’s definition will be correct since it can mean a lot of things. However, knowing why it exists and how to improve one’s personal and career development skills/strategy goes a long way.
So what really is personal and career development?
In my own words I’d say P&CD (Personal and Career Development) is that factor that actually contributes to your growth as a person. Growth in terms of personal maturity, career success and job satisfaction. The most idealistic reason someone would want to build their personal and career development is so that they can achieve goals that they set for themselves and eventually make themselves happy.
I’d just dive into it and let you know how I have been able to develop my own P&CD skills in the past years. One thing that helped is really identifying what I really wanted to develop.
Before I transitioned to HR from a Graphic Design job what I wanted to develop were:
* My communication skills. How I wrote. How I spoke.
* My analysis skills. Learning tools in my field that were relevant to the job I did. Excel, Data Analysis etc.
* My presentation skills. “How I dey do fine boy professionally for work and when presenting my dashboard and all.”
* Bettering myself as a person who’d be very confident.
See, once you decide you want to develop yourselves. Nothing can actually stop you. Any hindrance is always an opportunity to find another way really.
I have never met someone that says my P&CD is just so that I can self destruct or get depressed in life.
Some examples of the P&CD skills you might want to develop are:
Truth is, I can list as many, but you know inside you those skills that need growth in your life personally and career wise.
Now let’s get into how you can improve your personal development skills.
You can enhance your personal development skills by
- Taking classes online
- Learning from the people around you
- Gaining new talents and improving upon existing ones that you already have
Guidelines for Personal and Career Development
You can follow these guidelines to develop yourself. I’d use myself as an example based on my experience.
1. Get rid of fears from your life
See ehn, one thing that I realize looking back at when I was earning 30K/month at Mushin was that I was scared to leave the comfort of that job. The fact that I did not know what was out there scared me. The fact that I was getting too scared to want to stretch myself from developing skills that would move me ahead. See, fear can prevent you from growing and progressing in life.
If you are afraid of public speaking, for instance, please go and take a class or join a group that helps people become better public speakers. It’s a great step to start from trust me. Grow and learn by trying things you might not be comfortable doing. If you are shy, try starting a conversation or introducing yourself to new people at a reception or workshop.
2. Read More, More and More
I never used to know why people used to read until I started it myself and found that knowledge actually resides in reading. When I started as a HR officer back then, I had to love books because I found that you needed them to develop yourselves. I read every book I could lay my hands on in relation to self-development, HR career development and professional development.
See, reading expands your knowledge and vocabulary and keeps you very informed. If you don’t already know, it stimulates your mind and can improve your critical thinking ability. Even if it is an article, ehn read. Set a goal for yourself to read at least once a week!
3. Learn something entirely new
Being in a silo and knowing all about your field alone is entirely detrimental to your growth. You have to learn a new skill or topic, whether it is related to your field or not. You might, for instance, take courses to learn another language, a new software program or how to write creatively. You’d be surprised that the things you learn will help you even in your own field.
4. Learn from other's experience
You can not know it all. And in case you do not know, there are folks who have gone through whatever it is you are trying to achieve. Look around you. They are there. Talk to them. Ask for opinion on a project you are working on. This helps you to even learn more from someone more experienced than you.
One thing that got me this far, I believe is how humble I was in learning from my senior colleagues and professionals. I am always eager to approach and discuss how I can better sharpen a particular skills. Don't be too big. Don't be an "I Too Know". Don't be that person.
5. Ask for feedback
There is no point trying to develop yourself when you do not know what area you need to develop. Take an online assessment of your skills. Ask for feedback from your peers, supervisors, managers, partners.
We as humans have aspects of ourselves that we do not see but others do. It could even be an habit you are getting a feedback on. These feedback in many cases, if given positively can be channeled to a personal and career growth. Leverage on it! I did!
6. Write your goals and plans
Imagine going to a football match and not having a plan. Not having a formation. Not assigning who the strikers should be or the defenders or the goal keeper. It sure will be a disaster. No doubt. Having your goals and also a plan on how to achieve it will really help with your P&CD. After I finished secondary school, I wrote in a journal things I wanted to achieve.
Even though some took a few years before they came to fruition, it helped me and subtly guided my path. That what these things do. Decisions you make, skills you learn, education you attain will be surrounded around them and not some sort of random process. Write it down in black and white and work towards it!
7. Who is your mentor?
Show me your mentor and I'd tell you who you are. Heard that before? Your mentor will guide you no matter what. They already have been through that path. They know the ups and downs.
A mentor doesn't have to be in your organization. They might be in a professional association or even a neighbour. Or even a lecturer. Most important thing is that they have attained a level similar to what you are seeking to attain and are readily to work towards getting you to that same level!
Finally, I'd have said go out and meet others but there is corona outside now. So post corona, please network. Meet people in your field. People with similar interest who you would discuss similar ideas. This helps you fuel your passion and ultimately affects your P&CD. Show me your friends and I'd tell you who you are.
No offense, I reduced my ties with folks from Mushin after I left as a Graphic Designer. I was heading towards becoming a different professional and I needed to align myself towards that path. Of course I still have acquaintances in Mushin and we talk regularly. However, what I want is not there anymore and I needed to align myself accordingly. Remember, you have to selfish about your growth. You do not owe anybody. You only owe yourself and family growth.
Read on How to build your network.
Like I always say, P&CD is your route to the growth that can get you out of whatever predicament you are in. Do it unapologetically as we only have one life to live. Do it like your finance, opportunities and self fulfillment depends on it! All the best.
If you have found this interesting, let me know please.comment your thoughts