Young professionals often believe that classes or tutorials labeled as “professional development” can serve as a one-size-fits-all solution to advance your career. If you want to improve your collaboration skills you find an online tutorial and voila! You’ve been professionally developed. But maybe there’s more to development than meets the eye.
Of course, it’s imperative to practice and discover new opportunities that will challenge you professionally.
” I have noticed, however, that others – along with myself – can start to overlook a monumental aspect of advancement: personal development.”
Your approach to personal development can either hinder or enhance your professional development.
Prior to starting my role at Reebok, I found myself feeling quite sedentary in my career and questioning if my professional aspirations could still provide an adequate level of satisfaction in my life. It’s not that I wasn’t seizing development opportunities – I was doing quite the opposite, actually. I invested so much time into my career and took advantage of every chance to develop that arose.
The problem? I expected this to give me validation – and it did for a short time. But, I found myself continuing to struggle with the nuances of finding personal fulfillment.
I had spent so much time on career advancement that I had forgotten the value of taking time for yourself and the effect it can have on all aspects of your life. I have always thought of myself as a spirited and energetic individual, but this mindset began to wane.
“I realized that personal development leads to progress in your professional life, but not the other way around.”
Personal development is the basis to move forward in professional life.
The new environment at the Canton, Mass. Headquarters has given me a renewed sense of purpose and fitness has served as the catalyst to refocus my intentions.
Because we are encouraged to get away from our desks to be active for an hour each day, I have found that engaging in these activities – everything from CrossFit to basketball to yoga – has provided the routine and structure I’ve both wanted and needed. Building routine and structure into my days continue to be personal development goals of mine, as I’ve learned they add tremendous value to my professional aspirations.
“I also feel that the cognitive and rejuvenating powers of exercise are allowing me to attack the work day head on with a fresh attitude and a lot of endorphins to keep me energized. This definitely doesn’t hurt!”
I know my newfound work routine and structure will be tested – but that’s okay, because the only way to gauge growth is in my approach to challenges that will surely come with time.
I’m thankful that I’ve entered a new career environment where I can, return to personally developing my life and trust that the career development will follow suit.
My advice to career oriented individuals is to take a step back, and allow, even a small amount of personal development into your life—it will guide your professional future to a much more balanced, healthy and rewarding place.