3 Signs You Need to Focus on your Personal Development

Written by Professional Academy guest blogger Laura Slingo

Playwright George Bernard Shaw once said: “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

And never was a truer word spoken.

Sometimes it’s all too easy to get carried away at work with the immediacy of business demands and to-do lists that stretch across horizons. But in order to stay on top of responsibilities at work and keep satisfaction levels high, we need to reflect on ourselves and engage with personal development – or as George said, creating ourselves – to help us perform at our best.

Therefore, if you identify with the following three signs, it’s time you took a step back for a moment to focus on your personal development.

You’re feeling overwhelmed

If your work-life balance is slightly out of whack and you’re feeling overwhelmed, then it might be time to focus on your self-development.

Data shows that the average UK worker spends 92,120 hours at work over the course of their working life. That’s a really long time to remain unhappy and overwhelmed.

If work is dominating your life, it’s time to take five as it can have long-term effects on your health. A recent report from Mind revealed that stress at work is causing poor mental health in men. However, only 29% of men surveyed stated that they had taken time off work due to their mental health issues, compared to 43% of women. Worryingly, this suggests that the majority of men and women are unlikely to take time off to address their mental health.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work and you feel like your mental health is suffering, it may be time to take a few days off to focus on your personal development and regain some balance.

You’re feeling static

There’s very little point in a career that doesn’t require training and development, especially since it enables employee loyalty, business growth and success. And yet, a third of UK employees are disappointed with their career progress.

If you feel a little static, are not learning or being pushed and are generally quite bored with your job, then it’s time to focus on your personal development.

One easy way to do this is by sitting next to the office swot. Research from Cornerstone OnDemand revealed that those who sit next to quality, productive workers are more likely to improve their output by 10%. Therefore, it’s likely you can learn a lot more from perching next to clever clogs in the corner too.

Another way to address your static role is by approaching your boss for training. Firstly, make a list of your career aims, the courses you could take to enable growth and the ways in which your training will benefit your employer. Then make a note of any costs – this could include course payments and time out of the office, for example.

Once you’ve pulled your plan together, it’s time to approach your boss. Simply talk through your plan and explain the situation, placing emphasis on how your training will benefit you and the company in the long and short term. You should also highlight why you’ve chosen those courses in particular.

Fingers crossed all goes well, but if your boss says no, think about why that might be and present a potential solution. For example, if your employer can’t spare the manpower, perhaps you could complete your projects ahead of time to free up some diary space.

By presenting solutions rather than a problem, you show your boss that you’re a proactive employee, looking to learn new skills and benefit the company. Therefore, they may be more likely to reconsider your request.

Your confidence is weak

It’s no secret that confidence comes naturally for some, less so for others. But that doesn’t mean you can’t become a confident person. If you’re lacking confidence in yourself, or certain abilities about the workplace, it’s time to focus on your personal development.

One way to give yourself a much needed boost is by adjusting your mindset. Keep the positive thoughts flowing and you’ll trick your brain into believing in yourself – if you don’t believe us, check out this TedTalk that discusses the nitty gritty social psychology behind it all.

It’s all too easy to work on the things we’re already good at. And while building on your strengths is an excellent way to improve your confidence, so is practising your weaknesses and correcting your mistakes. Therefore, once you’ve completed a task at work, jot down some thoughts of how you found it and how you could improve next time to encourage success.

Personal development is the key to creating ourselves and leading a long, successful career. Just remember to keep your career goals in mind at all times and don’t be afraid to speak up about making yourself a better person and employee.

About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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