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 hone in on your professional development skills—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. The first step when exploring career and personal development tips is to write these reasons down and view them everyday (I personally put them in my bathroom mirror and carry them 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 them daily. So, now that we have a plan, and our why and goals are visible; here are the three ways to improve professional development that will guarantee success in your career and personal life.
Find a Mentor/Coach:
“Success leaves clues” and history repeats itself. Who do you look up to? How did they achieve their career growth and development? What mistakes did they make that you can avoid to ensure you arrive at your destination faster and less bruised? I could fill a book with questions that you can ask this mentor, but by asking the questions you are showing this person that you are willing to grow and that you don’t quite know it all. From what I’ve seen in my career, 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 various thought leaders, authors, and entrepreneurs that have succeeded and have spent the time to share those valuable lessons with others.
Ask for feedback:
When learning how to improve yourself every day, one of the most important tools available is being 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 truly 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 ask for their advice in the interest of improving, they will be much more open to sharing this valuable information. The best way to go about this is to send an email to 5-10 people that you trust who will give you honest feedback. Feel free to be specific, or simply ask what you wish to know. I typically send an email asking those I trust what they believe to be my 3 greatest strengths, as well as my 3 greatest weaknesses (especially in the areas 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 for many is that well… 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 often not able to let someone else down who we love and trust.
So there you have it: three tips to put into play to ensure that you get better every day of your life. Great news is, it’s not all too complicated, and by focusing on these three developmental keys each and every day, you will start to see the changes without second thought.
Interested in learning how to improve yourself every day in other areas? Check out the Let’s Go Win Self Empowerment Podcast to live your best life, or explore our other blog topics on personal growth and professional success.