What You Need to Know About Personal Development and Career Success

I often get requests from people interested in doing a gust post on this blog. Sandra Moncada is one such person.  She is a blogger and cycling enthusiast, who frequently escapes to hang out with her literary and movie heroes. You can connect with her @SandramoncadaOh.  Check out what she has to say about the importance of personal development…

Personal development, at its core, means you’re investing in yourself. You take control of your life by mastering some skills that will set you apart from everyone else. By doing so, you create opportunities to reach your goals instead of waiting for the right ones to come along.

Look Back as You Look Ahead
We can find where we want to be in life by looking at our past. Ask yourself or check with your parents and relatives:

  • What did I love doing as a child?
  • What were my dreams?
  • When was I the happiest and most proud of myself?

The games and subjects you enjoyed as a kid can reveal clues for what may make you feel fulfilled in the future. It’s important to be able to make an accurate assessment of your own strengths, weaknesses and values. This helps us determine what type of jobs best fit our talents and passions, and which jobs we were not exactly cut out for.

Like everyone, you have your own unique skills that you bring to the table. Development of those skills largely depends on your upbringing, education and the interests you pursued. With self-reflection, you can write a CV and resume that demonstrate your best qualities and make an excellent impression on anyone who reads them.

Change Is Good
It’s never too late to try something new. A common belief is that youth is reserved for finding yourself by trying new things. In reality, however, people are constantly evolving. Finding your perfect career is no excuse to stop learning and growing.

Remember that the world is a book, so always look for opportunities to read another page. Travel equips you with the most exciting stories and valuable experiences that broaden your horizons and help your confidence grow.

Having diverse experiences and skills helps both your character and your career. While another candidate could have more work experience, the employer may prefer someone well-traveled, a sports person with a team spirit – someone with your specific skill-set. You may not realize it, but your interests push you in a certain direction. Your hobbies, the books you read and the people you meet are a huge part of your life and play a major role in your career path.

It’s a natural human need to be accepted and liked. At school, we used to sit in circles, pick a random person and list everything we liked and disliked about them. As scary as it may be, ask people you know about their first impressions of you and how they believe you can improve yourself. Everyone, including people you’ve barely spoken to and your closest friends, can provide valuable insight and give you a new perspective on yourself.

Right Your Wrongs
Is there something negatively affecting your life? Well, stop moping around! Invest your energy into figuring out how you can make adjustments and improve.

Diet is a big issue for many of us. Poor diet prevents you to become the best version of yourself. Your morning routine should include a healthy breakfast and packing nutritious snacks, so you can avoid junk food when you’re at work or out and about. Employed or unemployed, you probably spend far too much time sitting down when you could be getting some physical activity. Correct? Well, it’s just a matter of simply stepping your foot outside the home or office.

The morning is the perfect time to get a workout. Your diligence and respect for the colleagues waiting for your texts and emails to get on with their work is commendable. But, guess what? – You are just as important, so try to fit 30 to 60 minutes of exercise in.

Yoga and meditation are both good ways to clear your mind before or after work. You don’t need much, if any, equipment, and practicing with your kids is a time well spent. Not only are you bonding, but it can also improve their behavior and study habits. Try doing this outdoors or inside with the lights dim. For a full zen atmosphere, light a few candles. It helps you focus and creates the right mood, just be careful you don’t place them too close together or forget about them when you’re done.

Positivity sometimes takes practice. Have you ever responded to a rejection letter regarding the job you applied for? Most people don’t, but do you lose anything if you do? Use this valuable opportunity to ask the company if they had any constructive feedback. Speaking from personal experience as a job candidate, you will come across as mature, confident and professional.

Listen Closely and Choose Your Words Wisely
Are you giving people your full attention when you talk to them? Monitor how you act during conversations. It’s common for people to drift off without maintaining eye contact.

Sometimes personal issues weigh us down, and the people we’re close to probably don’t mind our absent look. But, it’s not the best first impression at a job interview. Focus on speaking clearly and keep your body language in mind, as most communication is nonverbal. Effective communication skills can make all the difference in your professional life.

Part of the secret to success lies in knowing your worth and how to “sell” yourself. Equally important – do your best to avoid confrontations. Remember, it’s often best to bite your tongue and remain neutral instead of putting a target on your back.

It’s Up to You
Your earning potential is all about the value that you can provide. The best way to increase that value is developing yourself and reaching your full potential. Find your passions, continually seek out knowledge and focus on living the best life that you can in terms of your physical and mental health. Build a positive mindset and instead of seeing failures as negative experiences, see them as opportunities to learn.


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