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  • Rachel Doyle

7 reasons to invest in personal career development - boost your career today

Why you should bother with your own personal career development

The beginnings of any training programme or career are exciting. You’re learning something new; you feel eager and motivated to succeed and each day feels like a fresh challenge. This keeps you in a constant growth mindset, which boosts confidence and engagement. As you settle into a routine, however, you may feel that you’ve mastered your job quite well. While this is a satisfying feeling, it can quickly lead to a sense of complacency or becoming stagnant in your career. Here are some ways how personal development can support an exciting and ever-growing career.

Personal career development keeps you self-aware and eliminates your blind spots

Personal career development is closely tied with self-awareness. To identify the areas you want to develop, you need to consistently take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. You can do this by performing a self-assessment or asking colleagues and friends who you trust for an honest, constructive criticism. If you are not comfortable with the direct approach, then how about an online questionnaire to self-evaluate where you need to grow and what is preventing you. This prevents underdeveloped skills from going unnoticed, making you better equipped to compete in today’s job market.

Increase your confidence and keep your skills up-to-date

People who prioritise their growth mindset and consistently work on themselves tend to have an improved sense of confidence and pride in their work. They also stay aware of industry trends and changes, ensuring their skill set is up to date. Personal development could include your ‘soft skills’ like communications, networking, leadership or practical and technical skills. By practicing these areas regularly, you’ll have more confidence in your decisions, and you’ll become more proactive in work and personal settings.

Work with a mentor or coach

Whether it is with a mentor or coach, there is tremendous value to everyone in assessing areas of personal and professional development (as often both are linked) as well as the barriers to success, putting in a plan and overcoming them. With a mentor or coach with you, your ability to succeed grows and allows you a chance to work with someone who can support you. This really is an investment in personal and professional growth.

You’ll stay motivated in the long run

At the start of everyone’s education or career, we have goals to accomplish. Finish that degree, secure the interview, get the internship, move on to a salaried job etc. These goals keep us motivated. So once you are comfortable in your job, it’s important to set personal goals that will give you a sense of purpose. This could be achieving a promotion, moving to a better work life balance or even making a career change. Having something to aim for, even if it’s a smaller goal like dedicating 30 minutes to learning each day will keep you in that growth mindset. Have a goal, create a plan and then go smash it!

Personal career development opens new career opportunities

As you are continuously working to develop and expand your skill set, this could open doors for new career options. Not to mention, the self-awareness and clarity you’ll gain from engaging in personal development could make you realise you are better suited for other roles or industries. Ultimately, it will lead to more fulfillment and overall job satisfaction.

It will lead to a better work life balance

By consistently developing and expanding your skill set, you’ll add value to yourself as a professional, giving you more career opportunities to choose from. By being aware of your needs and abilities, you can start to define the ideal work life balance and find employers that meet those requirements. The growth mindset puts you in the drivers’ seat and provides more autonomy over your career.

Control your future career prospects

Investing time into your own personal development and you’ll ultimately be in control of your career prospects and future. Our learning never stops and if you think it does, it’s time for some introspection. The future of work will look very different to how we see it today. Upskilling of current teams is vital, particularly as the gap between industry and tertiary educators exists. On top of this, more companies are looking towards talent mobility within their organisation. This involves assessing internal roles and gaps and matching to the current talent and skills that exist in the business. By showing yourself to be constantly looking for opportunities and ways to grow and develop, you will be building on your skillset whilst growing your reputation. Consider this, does your employer want their team to have an agility mindset? If so, you can easily show that this is your by your reflective practice of learning and growth mentality.

Whether you’re employed or a freelancer, personal career development is a must

You should always be investing in your personal career development. Even when you are freelancing it is important to show that you are learning to your future prospects. They want to know that any resource they work with is building on their own experience. If you can’t demonstrate this, it might be the difference between winning that new business, or not.

It’s win-win either way...

If your current employer doesn’t value your skills and determination to develop, you can guarantee that there is an employer that will. And in a talent driven marketplace the world is at your fingertips. You’ve got the time to find the right employer that meets your values and delivers the work life balance and development opportunities you deserve. If you are going to move from freelance back into paid work, showing how you have developed your experience will make you attractive to future employers.

Looking for a new job, look at our opportunities on LinkedIn, and follow our page @Auxeris.

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