More and more professionals want to know everything about the subject of personal development: becoming your best self through self-development. But what is personal development? And how do you work at your personal growth?
In this article, we share some practical tips to get started. Among other things, we will discuss:
Personal development is a broad concept which consists of different elements, such as the development of your self-awareness, identity, talents and reaching your potential.
With self-development, you make a conscious choice to look for what makes you the happiest and makes you feel good.
When working on your mental and physical health and finding a balance between work and private life, it makes you a more effective and happier person, both professionally and in your private life.
We want to develop ourselves during our career, and preferably at an organisation which supports that. That’s why personal development is becoming more and more important: by gaining insight into who you are, where you want to go and how you want to achieve this, you can take more conscious steps in your career development.
It used to be common to stay with the same employer for a longer time. But our life expectancy is rising, and so is the expectation that we will be working longer. Hays notices that employees have an increasing need for a new kind of career path.
To be able to keep up with these developments, it is important to work on your position, both inside and outside of your organisation. The stronger your position and the larger your expertise, the higher the chance that an employer hires you.
Purposeful personal development helps you in this.
There are many ways to get started with your personal development. Whichever method is most effective, depends on the person.
You can find some examples of how to work on your personal growth here:
The first step in this process is to teach yourself to constantly be curious. Surround yourself with knowledge and make sure you are aware of the most important developments in your field.
That way, you can subscribe to relevant newsletters, read blogs and books, listen to podcasts, find a mentor or follow a professional training.
Growing in your career does not only have to apply if you aspire a management position. You can also develop your skills by delving into your specialisation. These are the four steps to do so.
Work on a plan together with your superior
Talk with your superior about personal development. Talk about any skills you would like to improve on and where you want to go in the future.
Also mention explicitly your proudest accomplishments. This helps determine what kind of challenges give energise you.
This way, you can form a concrete plan together with your manager, which you can then use to start working with a purpose in mind.
Your physical and mental health are an important part of your personal development. In fact, being physically and mentally healthy improves your mood and your general productivity. After all, you get more work done and you perform better when feeling fit.
To become more physically and mentally fit, there is a large variety of activities you can do.
Research has shown that exercise during and after office hours has a positive influence on your general wellbeing. Aside from improving your health, movement is also good for the brain. You will notice that, in time, your concentration will be much higher. Movement also decreases fatigue at work, counters depressive complaints and increases confidence. As a result of all of this, you will perform better at work.
Take time for yourself
In our busy lives, it is very important that you take some time for yourself now and then. From waking up to going to bed, many people are constantly thinking about work and everything they must do, which causes the brain to work overtime.
A half hour of complete rest is often enough to recharge your battery. How you realise this practically depends on your personal preferences. For example, you can choose to wake up a little earlier and have a meditation moment or plan 30 minutes of exercise in your schedule.
Some people consistently turn off notifications on their phone and laptop at night. They indicate that this makes them sleep better and wake up more energised.
You should also think about how you take your lunch break. Many employees are all too familiar with eating their lunch behind their desk. Researchers have discovered that skipping lunch – a moment where you fully shut yourself off from that day’s tasks – can lead to sleeping problems and cause fatigue in the weekends.
Experiment with these different options to find out how you can make it energetically through the work week.
Finding and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is an important part of your personal development. You spend the biggest part of your day at work, so satisfaction in your job greatly affects your life quality. When you get satisfaction from your job, you increase your daily productivity, performance and eventual career success.
If you notice that you worry a lot about work at night or during the weekends, or if you don’t remember the last time you left the office at a decent time, it’s no wonder that your work satisfaction will be lower than you’d like.
Take measures to gain as much satisfaction from your job by restructuring your work-life balance. Plan your work on time, be punctual, prioritise, delegate, collaborate, and, most importantly, take care of yourself. Do not be afraid to ring the alarm if something bothers you, or if it is unclear what is expected of you.
Evaluate how you efficiently spend your time at the office. Do you work very hard but not smart? Do you focus on the wrong tasks? Chances are that you will not get everything done during working hours. This way, you take home a big chunk of your work, while that is where you should be resting and recharging.
Personal development – more than a vague term
In a nutshell, personal development is more than a vague term. Consciously working on your self-development helps you gain an insight into who you are, where you want to go and how you will get there. Personal growth will make you feel better, gain more satisfaction from your job and increase your productivity.