14 Personal Development Examples (With Workplace Goals)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Personal development is an activity that can help individuals improve their professional capabilities and skill set. Setting goals for this task can have a positive effect on your career trajectory, as you can better achieve optimal project results and strengthen your job performance overall. By reviewing some key personal development examples, you can decide which strategies and goals best align with your career aspirations and may help you succeed. In this article, we list 14 different goals to consider and provide some benefits of establishing them.

14 personal development examples for the workplace

Consider the following personal development examples that can help you succeed in the workplace:

1. Improve your time management skills

Create a workflow schedule to give yourself enough time to meet deadlines and maintain a high-quality job performance. This approach allows you to better focus on each work assignment and increase your efficiency. To develop time management skills, you can prioritise your tasks according to their deadlines and difficulty level, then set a certain amount of time to complete each one. It may be helpful to try a scheduling application that can help you set achievable goals.

Read more: Time Management Skills: Definition and How to Improve

2. Develop emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence describes a capacity to regulate your own emotions and understand the feelings of other people. Other aspects include having self-awareness, motivation abilities and social skills. This skill can allow you to communicate with your colleagues effectively and better understand their perspectives, which can help enhance a team-based work environment. It can also help you resolve workplace conflicts, which is a valuable trait for anyone aspiring to hold a management position in the future.

3. Listen actively

Active listening involves concentrating on what a conversational partner says, then providing useful feedback. Learning this personal development skill can help enhance your workplace interactions and develop trust between colleagues. It can also help you better recall instructions from a supervisor, which may increase the quality of your work assignments. To become an active listener, be mindful to reflect on the information fully before you respond and provide a nonverbal gesture to show you're engaged, such as nodding your head.

Read more: What Are Active Listening Skills? (Definition and Examples)

4. Cultivate resilience

A resilient individual in the workplace knows how to overcome challenges and incorporate the lessons they learn for future events. By developing a capacity for resilience, you can better adapt to changing circumstances and maintain a positive mindset throughout your workday. This attribute can also help you become an adept problem-solver, as you can remain focused and calm while identifying potential solutions. To cultivate resilience, it's often helpful to learn a meditation technique to regulate your breath control and remain aware of your emotional responses.

5. Develop a growth mindset

A growth mindset involves believing that individuals can develop new skills throughout their lives, meaning you might approach each work assignment as a valuable learning opportunity. Adopting this perspective can help enhance your job performance and better implement feedback from a supervisor into your day-to-day activities. It can also help you identify long-term goals for your development. To practise a growth mindset, try asking a supervisor to help you determine some short-term objectives for your professional development, either based on new feedback or previous comments.

6. Learn new competencies

Studying a new skill can be a valuable step for personal development, as this action may increase the number of job opportunities you receive. Professionals often study a new competency through an online certification course, which they can list on their CV afterwards as an additional qualification. It may be helpful to choose skills you can apply to different fields and industries. Professional skills that may be helpful to learn include:

  • database management

  • arithmetic and statistics

  • computer programming

  • writing and editing

  • graphic design

  • social media marketing

  • budgeting

  • video editing

Related: 10 Common Employability Skills (With Definitions and Tips)

7. Network with other professionals

Develop your professional network to make friends in your field and discover new work opportunities. It can also help you gain more expertise, as you can share ideas with your contacts and receive valuable insights in return. To develop this network, consider attending a networking event in your local area or through an online portal. You can also develop relationships by replying to posts on social media or offering a business card to new people you meet at work functions, like a conference.

Related: Tips for Business Networking to Help You Find Job Opportunities

8. Improve your public speaking abilities

Strong public speaking skills can help you give high-quality work presentations and pitch ideas to a prospective client. It involves learning how to enunciate your words and speak in a confident, engaging way. These abilities can also enhance your verbal communication skills in the workplace, helping you better convey information to colleagues and supervisors. To increase your public speaking skills, try taking an online course, then practising a speech in front of a trusted colleague or peer.

9. Complete an independent project

Consider asking a supervisor if there are any additional work projects you can complete that either align with your current responsibilities or might help a company improve a process. This goal can help you develop a new professional capability and show an aptitude for leadership, which may be especially helpful if you aspire to a management position in the future. For example, you might offer to revise an employee manual or organise files on your department's server.

10. Adjust your work-life balance

Focusing on both your work schedule and external livelihood can help you lead a fulfilling life and increase your overall productivity. If you establish firm boundaries and rest often, you can better ensure you're able to focus during a workday and complete high-quality assignments. To achieve an optimal work-life balance, you may benefit from establishing a certain amount of work hours per day or planning your weekday schedule before it begins. Consider reflecting on your previous habits so you can determine a strategy that best works for you.

11. Attend a professional development seminar

Companies often provide seminars or conferences to help professionals refine their skills. These events can also help you stay updated about recent developments in your field, allowing you to relay this knowledge to supervisors at your workplace. They can also become additional opportunities for professional networking activities. Consider asking your boss whether they can sponsor your attendance at a seminar or research training opportunities through the Association of Hong Kong Professionals (AHKP), which is a not-for-profit organisation that supports professionals in multiple fields.

12. Motivate others to succeed

If you can learn how to motivate others in a workplace, you can enhance a company's culture and develop your leadership capabilities. It can also help you increase morale during a long-term project and form long-lasting bonds with your colleagues. To develop this capacity, try asking your colleagues what concerns they may have and encouraging them to seek the resources they require, allowing them to complete work assignments. If someone accomplishes a task that helps you achieve a goal, be sure to express your appreciation.

13. Wake up early or set up a routine at night

Getting up early in the morning can give you enough time to accomplish useful tasks before work, like eating a nutritious breakfast or exercising at a gym. You might also review your schedule before you arrive at a workplace or start your hours officially, which can help you focus more effectively and feel prepared. If you prefer to perform similar activities at night, consider developing a routine that helps you develop a focused mindset for the next workday. Be mindful to sleep for at least eight hours so you can have enough energy to accomplish your tasks.

14. Read books or articles regularly

Reading new material can help you learn about your professional field or gain more knowledge about alternative perspectives, how other individuals cultivate a life. This personal development goal can help you make well-informed decisions, which can boost your job performance. It can also enhance your work environment or provide another way to connect with colleagues. To develop a reading habit, you can create a daily schedule for yourself.

Benefits of setting personal developing goals for work

Here are some key benefits of setting personal development goals for your career:

  • Increases productivity in the workplace: Fulfilling personal development goals can help you increase your output, as you can better understand your work habits and competencies. As a result, you can also help a department increase its efficiency.

  • Improves your self-confidence: By setting more workplace goals and developing new skills, you can increase your confidence as a working professional in your field. Gaining this attribute can also help you share new ideas at work and improve your decision-making abilities.

  • Establishes a strong work ethic: Having well-defined personal development goals can help you dedicate more time to completing projects. This skill may also provide opportunities for a promotion in the future, as supervisors often appreciate employees who can work diligently.

  • Helps you identify your purpose: When you establish clear goals, you might also become more motivated to achieve your goals. As a result, you might focus on tasks more easily or better determine strategies to help you concentrate.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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