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Professional Development Goals that Pay Off in the Real World

Jun 18, 2024 | Business, Mindset

Professional development is an umbrella concept with a wide range of possible topics. How does anyone know what to focus on? Personal interests aside, it’s a good idea to focus on topics that have the most real-world applications for your unique situation.

Find Gaps in Your Skill Sets that Need to Be Filled – Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you’re good at is important, but knowing where you’re weak can boost your career. Find the gaps in your skill sets and look for ways to fill them. If communication is an area where you struggle, take a course in writing, listening, or non-verbal communication.

  • Real-World Application: Being a better communicator has real-world applications. Effective communicators have less conflict and better relationships. Effective communication improves the perception of intelligence and makes you more likable.

Seek Mastery Within Your Industry – Mastering an aspect of your industry can help you stand out as an expert and improve your chances for success. Some industries reward mastery with titles which lead to greater income and prestige. You may be required to become certified or pass exams to be recognized, but formal or informal recognition of mastery is a great goal.

  • Real-World Application: The habits you create to master an aspect of your industry transfer to other areas of life. Personal competencies like dependability, work ethic, intelligence, and dedication easily apply to every nuance of daily living including optimally managing your mental and physical health. 

Seek Out Leadership Responsibilities – You don’t have to be the boss to have an excellent career, but the habits of leaders are important. Leaders have abilities that help them thrive in multiple situations and give them an edge. Qualities like being a visionary, having charisma, resiliency, and confidence are all transferable to the real world.

  • Real-World Application: Being a leader in your chosen career, automatically transfers to everyday life. Healthy leaders are intrinsically driven, don’t fear change, and make those under them feel safe and secure. This is great for your community and family life.   

Aspiring to Be, Do, and Have More – Having aspirations is important. Setting personal and business goals, always working towards something new, and stretching yourself in your career gives you the drive to stick with things when they are difficult. Nothing is a straight path, so learning to dip and weave through the barriers builds character on the way to something new and exciting.

  • Real-World Application: Having aspirations on and off duty provides a sense of purpose and direction in life. Working from a purpose-driven mindset applies to everything from philanthropy, to relationships, and personal satisfaction with the life you’ve built.  

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