The Benefits of Personal and Professional Development
The benefits of personal and professional development are far-reaching. Working on developing in both areas can dramatically affect your way of life. As with most great things, the path towards them isn’t always easy. This article will discuss the types of personal and professional development that are most influential, the ways in which you can incorporate these into your life and the exceptional number of benefits there are to these developments.
How to Create a Personal and Professional Development Plan
Deciding to make a change your current way of life can be daunting. Personal and professional development is a lifelong process. It can be difficult knowing where to start. We here, at the College of Contract Management understanding getting started on your development plan isn’t easy. Therefore we have created this quick 3 step plan to help you get started.
Choosing a place to start with your development is always simpler when you outline your goals. First, start with your long term goals, then write down short term goals that will help you reach the end goals. These could be your ideal job role, completing a degree, starting a business, or meeting new people.
The short term goals could include things such as starting a new online course, applying for X number of jobs or committing to a particular number of hours of learning per week.
Once you have set your goals, you need to work out where you are starting from. Take a look at your own strengths and weakness. Make a list if it helps you visualise it. Identifying personal weaknesses isn’t fun but asking someone else to do it for you, isn’t any better. Not only will they base their opinion on their own wants and needs, but it won’t be nice to hear. So, in identifying these areas that need work, be kind to yourself, but most importantly, be realistic.
Try to think of any areas in which you wish to perform better. For example, are you always the last person to turn up for that important meeting? Perhaps timekeeping might be a good area to work on. Is it difficult to keep up with deadlines for projects? Maybe look at how you prioritise tasks. Thinking about areas in which you don’t perform as well isn’t a walk in the park, but it is the best thing you can do when creating a personal and professional development plan.
Create a Timeline
Creating a list of goals is a great start, but if you do not commit to these goals, you will not be fulfilling professional and personal development. Setting a timeline is a great way to keep you motivated.
You should set dates for when you would like one of your short term goals to be completed. For example, you may set a date for when you would like to have completed a course, joined some associations or done a number of hours learning. This can help keep you accountable. For the longer term goals, you might want to be a bit more vague with your deadlines. Remember, personal and professional development is a lifelong process. Once you have set, and met, deadlines for your short term goals, the long term goals will follow.
The benefits of personal and professional development
Increases Career Opportunities
One benefit of personal and professional development is that it can greatly influence your career opportunities. Each time you take part in something that provides you with experience or skills, write down how that has influenced your development. Using these examples is very useful for future job applications and to add to your CV.
It is pretty clear how professional development would influence your career, but personal development is equally important. Personal development can include boosting confidence or communication skills. These skills are important for interviews, business meetings and many other traits that employers look for.
Improve Mental Health
Improving mental health comes from a variety of different variants. However, one contributing factor is personal and professional development. Adding to your skills and qualities can stimulate your brain and give you a sense of reward. If you never committed to any development you might find yourself feeling stuck in a job or not feeling satisfied in life.
Increase Career Satisfaction
Career satisfaction is a huge benefit to professional development. By taking training courses and developing your skills you are more likely to get a job that you love. Continual learning also ensures that your career has variety. Furthermore, by learning about yourself and dedicating to personal development you will be able to determine the kind of work that will make you happiest.
Personal and professional development is vital for a chance for career promotion. A promotion to a new role likely involves learning new skills and gaining key interpersonal skills. Once you can demonstrate these areas that you have developed to your manager, you could be in with a chance of a promotion.
Improve Work-Life Balance
In addition, those who dedicate to personal and professional development commonly have a better work-life balance. A key part of personal development is learning when to switch off from work. It can be unhealthy to spend all hours of the day working without breaks. This can cause individuals to suffer burn out. Therefore, learning which hours you work best and knowing when to give yourself a break is one of the best skills to learn.
What resources can you use in personal and professional development?
There are many different ways to start professional and personal development. Here are a few ideas if you are not sure what you could do.
Volunteering develops your personal and professional life. There are many different areas that you can volunteer in. If you wish to progress in a particular career path it would be useful to research what kind of volunteering would benefit that career. As an example, if you wanted to work as a police officer, volunteering in community groups would be a great start. You would learn a lot about being a part of the community and this will give you practical skills for when you start working.
Volunteering also gives you lots of personal skills. You may meet people from all age groups and backgrounds which can be great for self-development. Doing something good for the community can also improve your mental health and life fulfilment.
Here in the UK, there are lots of organisations that you can volunteer for including:
Taking Short Courses
Another way to boost your personal and professional development is to take courses. You do not need to spend a long time taking courses especially if you want to develop skills whilst you are working in a full-time job. Some short courses that you could take include CPD courses. These continuing professional development courses are designed for those who want to add to their existing skills. They are also very beneficial for those who want to ensure they continue learning throughout adulthood.
The College of Contract Management offers a large range of short CPD courses. These offer you 10 CPD credits. Additionally, they offer many longer courses such as diplomas, advanced diplomas, HNDs and NVQs.
Here is a list of some of the CPD courses they offer:
Communicate and Network With Others
In addition, networking with others is a great way to boost personal development. This can increase your communication skills and confidence. In order to network you should attend events that interest you or network with those in your field of work.
Get a Mentor
Discussing career development with a friend, family member or hiring a mentor can be a great way to receive guidance. Talking with those who have had experience in their development and know what worked best for them can be hugely beneficial.
Collaborate With Others
Learning or working with others is a great way to learn new skills in teamwork and gain perspective of alternative methods of learning and working. Our development can be limited when we only stick to one way of doing things and therefore the input of others can help us develop in new ways.