When was the last time you did something for yourself? We often think of self-care in terms of at-home activities such as reading a novel, taking a bath, or going for a run. But if the core purpose of self-care is to address our mental, emotional, and physical health, we need to learn how to weave it into our work, too. Enter professional development — the process of improving and increasing your capabilities in the workplace.
By learning new skills and ways of thinking, you are literally changing your brain. (How cool is that?) Consider how learning might bring you more satisfaction at work. Consider how getting outside of your comfort zone might open the door to opportunities you didn’t know existed. The great thing about professional development is there’s no graduation ceremony — you are a life-long learner!
Here are three ways to maximize your professional development, and in turn, take great care of yourself.
Embrace a growth mindset
Have you heard of a “fixed mindset” versus a “growth mindset?” If you believe your qualities are unchangeable and that you can’t change your intelligence over time, you have a fixed mindset. You likely avoid challenges because you’re afraid of failure, you strongly desire people to view you as smart, and you’re devastated by criticism. (Does this sound like you? That’s okay! The good news is, you can change your mindset.)
Those with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed, and they view failure as an opportunity to learn and try again. They see possibilities, rather than limitations.
The hard truth is you won’t get far in your professional development if you approach it with a fixed mindset. Check out the fascinating book “Mindset” by Carol S. Dweck to learn more about how to foster a new way of thinking that promises a huge impact on not only your work but your relationships as well.
Invest in business coaching
Imagine being able to take yourself out of the equation and see your work life from an unbiased eye. You simply can’t do that alone — you need the help of someone with zero personal attachments to your work.
A business coach is a valuable asset for anyone wanting to maximize their professional development. He or she will listen to your concerns and help you create a path forward. You’ll receive helpful feedback, actionable steps, and accountability.
Spend more time on your hobbies
Yes, you read that correctly. Playing the guitar, cross-stitching, hiking… the list goes on. Engaging in hobbies has a positive impact on your professional development because satisfaction and enjoyment in your personal life can’t help but spill over into your work life.
For example, imagine spending your weekend pulling weeds out of your yard, dead-heading your roses, and plotting out a vegetable garden. By the end of the night, you’re sweaty and exhausted, but you can see the visible fruit of your labor and you’re excited to get started on your vegetable garden. You wake up Monday morning sore but happy, and you’ve wired a message into your brain that hard work pays off. You’re ready to tackle the big project your boss has entrusted you with.
Are you ready to care for yourself well and maximize your professional development by changing the way you think, being open to feedback, and embracing a hobby you love? You can do this! We’re here to help.