Personal development tips to build your career

Over time, most of our days become increasingly jam-packed with obligations at work. As we grow from amateurs to managers and business leaders, we tend to have back to back meetings, handling routine company duties or answering action driven emails as part of our daily work.

It is easy to get consumed in all these responsibilities. However, to make it through your career sanely, you need to make room for personal development. Personal development is a lifelong journey.

Continuously assess your skills and qualities to maximise your potential and ability to be outstanding at work. No matter how busy you may be, these techniques of continuous personal development are worth your time.

1.   Dedicate 30 minutes daily to learn something new

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This extremely valuable technique will expose you to new perspectives and broaden your view on business and global issues. Increasing your knowledge of the industry, rivals and clients will give you a comparative advantage over your peers in the company.

The most successful career leaders actually read a lot. You can also choose to listen to business podcasts, and watch lectures from world leaders. Attend trainings to interact with counterparts from other establishments to keep up with new trends in the game.

There is always something you can pick up with this valuable activity. Not only will this have a positive impact on your mental health by giving you a boost in confidence, but you will also rediscover underutilized potential in you that will eventually make you more enthusiastic to focus on spreading your wings.

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Your brain will have something new to think about other than your daily worries and enhance your quality of life.

2.   Identify the most important goals and needs

One way to track your performance in achieving your personal goals is to prioritise say your top three. Be it investing in the stocks, building a family house, or accumulating assets; identify appropriate and concrete steps to take in the next two weeks to ensure you get the ball rolling.

You cannot realise success at work when your personal life does not reflect growth. A popular African saying states that if you have to keep the town streets clean, make sure your own compound is free of litter first.

Follow up on the progress of your goals on a daily basis to address any obstacles and reset goals when need arises.

3.   Reposition your time objectives

The adage “time is money” emphasises the need to prioritise our objectives in life. As tasks pile up at work, time to get things done will seem like a scarce commodity. When a new opportunity arises, ask yourself, “If I take this up, what could I be saying “no” to?” Choose wisely and know what you are getting yourself into. When you do not have a habit of running your time, time will instead run you like a treadmill.

Sometimes, we do not have to do everything at the same time. We are creatures of habit, and with all the highs and lows at work, the journey up the career ladder will be uneventfully pressured and unsatisfactory when we fail to use time wisely.

To step into the future with more joy and ease, learn to prioritize and re-evaluate your time objectives. Your current desires and needs need to be repositioned in a way that will marry well with work goals. Contribute to your company’s mission and simultaneously achieve personal goals.

Become that well rounded leader who drives the company to great profits and has a great, even if private social life.

4.   Get candid advice

We do not live in a vacuum. Every now and then, we often need an outsider’s perspective to positively critique our actions. Since you are the average of the people you spend time with, find someone who can be comfortably objective to give you candid advice on self-improvement.

Spend time listening to advice from more successful people who exhibit work habits that you need to emulate. As you rise up the career ladder, you will have to take charge in seeking and generously accepting constructive criticism.

5.   Discover your pause button

A pause is a rewarding self-awareness tool that demonstrates your ability to stop and think before responding. Reactions are normally spontaneous and more often are without much thought. Being reactionary shows one as being defensive and quick to answer. Instead, learn to listen then respond. When you learn to pause, you grow in discernment.

It is a strategic step that expresses listening and assimilating before giving a response. Pay close attention to the sensations that build up inside of you after certain triggers and tame your reactions.

With time, you will learn that sometimes, you do not need to say anything at all. You will eventually manage to curb your impulses, act mindfully and resolve conflicts at work. Leadership will be so effortless for you when you are aware of your actions and reactions.

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