On this site, we often talk about personal development, how it affects you, the world around you, your work and furthering your career.
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Often it is easy to ignore that you have to factor in work when formulating personal development goals. After all, you spend a huge part of your life at work and how you feel there is very important to your general wellbeing. So let’s look at how you can set effective and smart goals that can help you grow in the workplace, as well as a human being.
1. Define What Is Important
The best way to decide a goal is to decide first what you find truly important. What are you doing at your job? Where are you going with it? Are you just making money or is there more to it than that?
The reason you’re doing this is to motivate you, keep you interested and happy while at work. So take a long, hard look at yourself and the work you’re doing and figure out what it is that keeps you going.
If you work in healthcare, it’s probably patients’ health; if you’re a teacher, you want your students to grow and develop. Defining what is at the core of what you do will make the days pass a lot more pleasantly and shine through in your performance, which, in turn, will make your supervisors happy, and that is never a bad thing.
2. Develop Strengths And Expertise
By defining what is important in your job, you can develop skills necessary to become even better at it. For example, take courses at a community college or online or read books on your field in your spare time.
Identify what your work is about so you can figure out how you can improve; strengthening your weak points while shoring up your strong points is always a good idea. Another important facet is developing auxiliary skills. Writers can for example learn some basic coding and Web design, while IT professionals can learn how to communicate more effectively using the written word.
There’s no such thing as too much knowledge, and you’ll be amazed at the dividends some learning can pay.
3. Improve Teamwork
Communication is more important than ever now, as managers have become more hands-off leaving tasks to those to whom they delegate. Often you will find yourself with a group of people, some vague instructions and the understanding that you are to get to it.
For those who are naturally good with people, this scenario poses no problems, but many will find that these situations are sources of great anxiety.
In either case, there’s always something that can go smoother, so try to get to know the members of your team a bit better, both on a professional and a personal level. For the socially anxious, there’s a great deal of tips to become less nervous and more assertive; while the extraverts in a group can always learn to step back and let the introverts step up.
Worst case scenario is that your work environment gets a little more pleasant as everyone gets to know each other better and becomes more comfortable in their presence, so give it a shot!
4. Manage Stress
The biggest problem in the workplace is of course stress in its many varieties and forms. It’s healthy in small doses as work can get done, but can be deadly to a work environment and the people in it if it runs rampant.
Although you can’t solve everyone’s problems for them, you can try to be a beacon of calm in your workplace by staying relaxed, taking plenty of breaks and never forgetting to put everything in perspective.
Personal development is never easy, especially at work, but by putting in the effort, you’ll find everything around you improves, so start today.