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Six Proven Ways for Professional Development in 2018

A new year and a new you but that doesn’t mean that you have to hit the gym five days a week throughout January to better yourself, there are other ways you can improve.

Taking some time to invest in yourself will help you to become a better, more productive, more in-demand person and that’s always good.

Here are 6 ways to help you develop professionally:

Make more connections

Meeting new people will not only result in new friendships, but each person you meet will add value to your life. They might bring knowledge about a subject that you weren’t aware of, they may share their culture with you or their wisdom. It’s too easy to stay safe and just hang out with people you know and who are similar to you, but that’s no good if you want to grow. It’s good to hear other people’s opinions, perspective and experiences as it will help to shape your future self.

Get a mentor

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Wise words from Benjamin Franklin. Mentors are people who have already been on the journey and can now share their wisdom with you. A good mentor will encourage you, challenge you and help you set goals. Having a mentor means you’ve always got someone in your corner spurring you on during the good days and also the not so good days.

Manage your time

There’s only 24 hours in a day, understanding that and knowing how to prioritise during that limited time will help you develop. Once you’ve worked out your optimum productive period, you’ll be able to get more done and most importantly learn more which will help you with your career. The other upside of good time management is that you’ll have more free time and less stress in your life.

Polish up your soft skills

You might be the best at the job but if no one wants you in their department that won’t help you progress your career. Remember technical skills will get you so far in life the rest comes down to how people perceive you. The saying “people buy from people they like” also goes for working with others, people want to work with people they like. Getting along with people is crucial for a successful career so polish up on being social, listening more, collaborating with others and motivating others as well as yourself.   

Set goals

You must have a least one goal to help push you forward in life. A quote from cricket umpire Bill Copeland sums up not having a goal perfectly  “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”

Goals keep you focussed, they motivate you and are a way to measure your success. Once you’ve achieved your first set of goals, take time to celebrate and then quickly set new goals before procrastination sets.

Read many books

A successful person is usually a well-read person. Books are an inexpensive way of developing yourself and are a great tool for the pursuit of development.  

Bill Gates reads a book a week, and when Elon Musk was asked how he learned to build rockets he said he read books!

To grow and develop one must keep moving forward

Remember the Chinese proverb

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.