In a world that is orientated around professional progression, personal development can often get neglected. However, personal development is vital to both a successful personal and professional life.
In this blog post I look at the differences between professional and personal development and highlight the benefits of personal development.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the difference between professional and personal development.
Personal development is exactly what it says it is: personal. Your personal development could involve anything from finding a new hobby, getting fit or learning a new language.
Essentially, personal development focuses on improving your knowledge and skills to overall result in self-improvement and consolidate your sense of identity.
On the other hand, professional development refers to your workplace progression, whether that be through undertaking a sales training course, attending conferences or gaining an academic qualification.
With a personal goal in place, for example, learn to speak Spanish, you’ll be more motivated and productive in your leisure time.
Consequently, you’ll find that you achieve more on a personal level and are spurred on to succeed. Plus, this increased motivation is likely to boost your morale and self confidence – a factor that will also help in your professional life.
With clear, defined goals in your personal life, you’ll find you’re more inclined to switch off from work and dedicate some time to yourself.
Contrary to belief, some dedicated down time is likely to improve professional performance, reduce work-related stress levels and ensure a more focused work mentality.
Working on your personal development can not only help you to learn new skills but also help you to learn more about yourself and what you want to achieve from your personal and professional life. With this new knowledge you can really focus on working towards those goals without distraction.
In essence, personal development teaches you the importance of quality over quantity. Rather than focusing on masses of tasks and goals, focus on what you really want to achieve and set out a plan to do it.
Plus, with heightened self-awareness you’re more capable of understanding your business style, that of your colleagues and prospects and therefore able to dominate business conversations more easily.
Unfortunately, whether it’s in your professional or personal life, there will be some tough times. Although, personal development cannot stop such difficulties it can make you better equipped to deal with them. The added self-awareness, confidence and motivation you achieve in your personal development can strengthen your resilience for when life throws unexpected challenges your way.
Yes, it may seem contradictory to the idea of personal development, but, carrying out tasks for yourself can improve your career prospects.
Learning a new skill or hobby not only increases your confidence, but, a wider range of social and leisure activities can actually appeal to employers and prospective clients by suggesting that you’re a hard-working, dedicated individual who strives for progression.
And, from experience, those who strive to keep learning and developing in their personal lives are more likely to gain opportunities and progression in their professional lives by attending sales training courses and industry related conferences and events. In turn, your employer is more likely to invest in your professional development and offer progression opportunities, knowing you have the dedication to see it through.