Practical Tips for Career and Personal Development

career and personal growth

When it comes to improving and developing further in our career and personal lives, the most important thing to do is have a plan.  As Benjamin Franklin put it “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Now you may be saying great I need a plan but where do I start? And how do I wade through all the information that is available to me online?  Let’s begin with why you want to develop in your career, Is it for your family, income wants/needs or to be recognized as an expert in your field?  Everyone’s answer will be different but it is extremely important to know your why or purpose as that is going to drive you to improve everyday.  Once you have established your why, now we can get to work on setting your goals and ultimately developing your plan to grow in your career, personal relationships, health or whatever area you are wanting to improve in. Step 1 is to write those down and view them everyday (I personally put them in my bathroom mirror and carry in my padfolio as I travel a lot).  Studies have shown you are 80% more likely to accomplish your goal by simply writing them down and viewing daily. So now we have a plan, our why and goals visible; here are the 3 things that will guarantee success in career and personal development.

Find a Mentor/Coach:

“Success leaves clues” and history repeats itself.  Who do you look up to?  How did they achieve the dream that you are striving for?  What mistakes did they make that you can avoid to ensure you arrive at your destination faster and a less bruised?  I could literally fill a book with questions that you can ask this mentor but by asking the questions you are showing that person that you are willing to grow and that you don’t know it all.  I have found everyone that is “successful” in their field is passionate about what they do and happy to lend a hand to those that are willing to put in the work, ask the questions and follow through.  If you don’t know that coach or are struggling to find someone in your circle to help (may be time to upgrade your inner circle), pick up a book and read from so many different thought leaders, authors, entrepreneurs that have succeeded and have spent the time to share those valuable lessons with you. 

Ask for feedback:

This is the most underutilized and most valuable tool available to anyone if you are willing to ask and receive feedback.  We are terrible judges of how we come across but those that are willing to be completely honest with you can literally reshape your life for the better.  We all know that unsolicited feedback goes over “like a lead balloon” but if you give them permission and in fact ask for their advice in the interest of improving they will be more open to sharing and you will be more open to receiving this valuable information.  The best way to go about this is to send an email to 5-10 people that you trust will give you honest feedback and you can let them know that this is what you want.  I typically send an email and say please let me know my 3 greatest strengths but more importantly my 3 greatest weaknesses in the area you are looking to improve.  Let them know your why for asking and that you trust them to be honest as this is part of your growth plan.  Thank them in advance for helping you become a better version of you.

Invest time and money:

Get extremely specific on how much you are going to spend a year on classes, a workshop and/or retreat.  Also if you are not currently putting the time in to develop yourself in your selected area, calendar it out daily.  This is the area where I feel most people fall apart as this is the full commitment to making it part of your everyday routine.  If you have come this far and you have all the information at your fingertips, now it’s time to execute on your plan.  The problem is that life happens and if you are not completely intentional about making this part of your everyday routine then the days turn into months and then years without any growth.  Make the commitment to yourself and share it with your accountability buddy as we are so willing to let ourselves down but it is brutal to let someone else down that you love.

Three things to put into play to ensure that you get better every day.  The great news is it’s not complicated and by focusing on three things your brain can actually remember that versus the top 10 list that so many others tell you to do to succeed. 



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