There comes a point in every professional’s life when they need to take a training course. Whether it’s health and safety, learning about a new software program, or soft skills, these compulsory courses tend to turn up every few years.
But how often do you sit down and find new courses that you want to do? Things that excite you and expand your knowledge? The chances are that the answer is probably not very often. We’re all too busy with the day-to-day components of our jobs, and training is something that is just another item on a long to-do list. But what if upskilling could boost your mental health? Would you make time for it then?
In this post, we look at why you should be making time for personal development this year.
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Push you out of your comfort zone
When we start in our careers, there is so much learning and change that we end each day exhausted. As we gain experience and become more confident, those tasks that used to challenge us and demand our full attention become second nature. The stress is reduced, and we settle into our comfort zone. This is fine, but there’s no room for growth.
Deciding to learn a new skill can open you up to personal growth, showing you what you’re capable of. If it feels tricky, you’re learning – your brain is absorbing all that new information. Continuous development keeps you interested and invested in your career, as well as stopping you from getting complacent and bored.
Getting comfortable with being out of your comfort zone can also increase your resilience, standing you in better stead for unexpected changes in your life.
Fuels your self-confidence
Imagine a time you’ve done something you didn’t think you could do. There was probably a sense of relief it was over, but also pride at what you’ve accomplished. Upskilling can have the same effect, fueling your self-confidence and showing you exactly what you’re capable of.
You don’t have to complete a huge certification or present in front of 100 people to give yourself a boost. Sit down and decide on some big goals that you’d like to achieve in your career – perhaps a promotion, or taking on a new client – and write them down. Next, look at the steps you’ll need to take to get there. This can give you an idea of where to focus your personal development efforts. Plus, you’ll know that every step you tick off is getting you closer to where you want to be.
Part of the benefit of brushing up your knowledge is that you’ll stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Whether it’s a training course, keeping up with an industry newsletter or attending a webinar, you’re ensuring that your work remains relevant and that you can adapt to any industry changes.
This can give you an increased sense of job security, as you feel valuable to the team. Or, if you’re self-employed, you ensure that you remain a first choice for all your clients. Especially if your income can fluctuate, it can be reassuring to know you're doing what you can to stay ahead of the curve.
Finally, with new technologies like AI becoming widespread, you may feel nervous that there’s a risk to your job. By educating yourself about them you can manage this worry, rather than letting it spiral out of control without any context. Plus, you can learn about how these advancements can streamline your workflow – leaving more room for training time.
Prepare for the future
We can’t predict what will happen in the future. Even if you’re the most skilled, invested person in your team, there are changes that can occur that will be out of your control. Committing regular time to personal development can help you if you lose your job, allowing you to quickly bounce back and be best placed to be called for an interview for a new one.
The same goes if you decide to move on from your current role, as well – interviewers can see that you’ve shown interest in the industry by regularly keeping your skills up to date.
Make a commitment to improvement this year
It’s clear that learning is an important part of professional growth. Not only will it look good on your CV, but it can also help you see what you’re capable of and increase your confidence.