Do you ever ask yourself “what will my legacy be?” Do you want to be successful in your professional and personal life? Success is not just defined as the amount of money you make. Success can also be defined as being recognized as a well-respected individual who is motivated to bring out the best outcomes for the company, their colleagues and themselves in both a personal and professional capacity. You might wonder why I am so keen to share my knowledge of timeless principles for success. At The Jukes Group, we are committed to our mission ‘to help others become Successful.’ I want to share my share knowledge to empower people to achieve their life dreams and goals.
A lot of people don’t know what the main differences are between Personal and Professional Development, and are limiting themselves to reach their career and lifetime dreams and goals. When we were at school and university, we are taught Professional Development most of the time but we are not taught much about Personal Development, if anything at all. Personal Development is about developing yourself for greatness, and you need to be taught what to do. Some people have never been exposed to personal development, such as reading non-fiction books or goal setting, and they are limiting themselves greatly. By knowing what personal development is, and how to apply it, this can significantly impact on your life.
Once I realized what Personal Development was, and how to undertake it, it had a significant impact on both my personal and professional life. I have achieved phenomenal success in my life, by applying the timeless principles that are discussed and presented here for you. I have achieved a PhD, become a President, published over 120 papers, a Fellow of 4 Professional Institutes, become a Group Managing Director, and now President of my own Company. You too can achieve great success once you know what you have to do, and begin to put a plan in place. Daily, incremental, achievable, relatively easy steps, when compounded over a long period of time have a significant impact and effect on the outcome. Personal and Professional Development is relatively easy to do, but it is also easy not to do, and it is best to break it down to manageable steps.
We all have untapped potential on the inside, and we are all destined for greatness. The problem is we don’t know how to tap in to that potential. The only way we can tap into this potential is to be intentional, and to undertake daily intentional routines that allow you to grow and to develop. If you are not intentional, then you will not grow. You have the ability to achieve greatness, even if you think it is not possible, and this is done by knowing what to do. I would like to reassure you that you can achieve greatness, you can be successful, and you can do it!
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can” – Nikos Kazantzakis
I have written two previous posts that looked at ‘10 Factors for Success’, and ‘4 Factors for improving Daily Performance’. The last post, regarding ‘4 Factors for improving Daily Performance’, covered daily journaling, visualization, writing goals, and reading non-fiction books. Since then, I have been asked to explain all about Personal and Professional Development, and this article aims to explain the difference, present the most important facts, and explain how it can be applied. This article is based on personal experience, from learning while doing, and also from over 20 years of experience in the Industry as an Engineer. I would like to think that the items presented here have got me to where I am today, and you can do the same. If you want to achieve greatness in your life, if you want to live the life of your dreams, or just be successful, then this post is for you!
What is Personal and Professional Development?
Personal and Professional development are different, but they are also connected. To be great you can’t have one without the other. Most careers expect you to undertake Professional Development, and many people are unaware of the benefits of Personal Development. To be great, you need both.
Personal Development – Personal Development is all about developing factors for success, finding your passion, finding your purpose and mission, understanding the importance of dreams, visions and goal setting. Also it looks at aspects of positivity, having a great attitude, ethics of ‘giving-back’, developing soft skills, habit of daily journaling, creating a victory log, creating a development plan, investigate your strengths and weaknesses, developing your library of key development books, and reading key nonfiction books.
Developing yourself can be undertaken in so many areas such as communication, motivation, personal growth, leadership, soft skills, and goal setting. Also reading books, attending seminars, listening to personal development CD’s in the car are the common ways.
In summary, Personal Development is about growing yourself for your life.
Professional Development – Professional Development is all about career path development, creating a career plan, goal setting, if you are an Engineer becoming a Professional Engineer (PE) or Chartered Engineer (CEng), developing skills to be a better Engineer/Manager/VP, and/or CEO. Also it is about becoming a Fellow of a Professional Institute for your area of career discipline. Other examples can be investigation which Qualifications to undertake, developing yourself and your team, creating great Core Values for yourself and team, creating a Center of Excellence, creating a great culture, and teamwork.
Undertaking an MBA to become a better manager, or undertaking Courses or Qualifications in Leadership, would be an example of Professional Development.
In summary, Professional Development is about growing yourself for your Career.
The importance of Personal and Professional Development
There are some extremely important points to get over about the importance of Personal and Professional Development that are worth noting, and these are summarized as the following.
- You will be the same in 5 years from now, as you are now, if you do not develop yourself.
- Most people have given up on their passion and dreams, and get cynical about life.
- “Work Harder on yourself, than you do on your job”. “Work on your job and make a living, work on yourself and make a fortune” (Jim Rohn)
- Most people come home and watch TV rather than read a positive development book, or walk around the neighborhood to keep fit. Why is that?
- Personal & Professional Development is easy to do, but it is also easy not to do.
- Have to make intentional effort to develop yourself.
- No one can do it for you, you have to do it yourself. g. no one can do your push-ups for you!
- You have to get into daily habits that develop yourself e.g. reading, journaling, etc.
- Small things undertaken daily have a big effect later on, called the Compound Effect.
- Do the little things that are uncomfortable until they become comfortable.
- The best kept secret of the rich is Time Management.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” – Robert Collier
5 Important Factors of Personal Development
The 5 important Factors of Personal Development that should be undertaken for growth are as follows:
- Developing Soft Skills
The main soft skills to learn that have maximum effect are the following.
- Communication – You can never over emphasize the power being able to communicate effectively. Successful communicators are not only delivering their message, they are also excellent listeners. There are courses out there to improve your Communication skills. One such way is that of the courses and books by Dale Carnegie.
- Public Speaking – Most of us are nervous about speaking in front of people, and the best way to control that fear is to undertake a Public Speaking Course. One such course is also by Dale Carnegie. I would personally recommend this Course, as having been through it myself.
- Networking – Building your network is such as important part of growth, and time should be spent on this. This can be undertaken by using LinkedIn, attending Institute Meetings, and meeting people face-to-face.
- Teamwork – The ability to work as a team is key in many aspects of life, both at work and at home. It is extremely important to be able to work in a team, and this is significant.
- Time management – life-long lesson of continual refinement. Time management is one of the best keep secrets of the rich.
The above skills can be learnt by attending courses on the subjects, and then by practicing in real life situations. By the continual refinement of these skills, will help greatly.
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later” – Og Mandino
- Attend Seminars
Pay to attend motivational and leadership type seminars. You will learn lots, and also meet like mined people. Even if you have to pay for this yourself, this is money well worth spending. There are many seminars about Leadership, Motivation, Goal Setting, Mastermind, Public Speaking, Personal Development and many more. You should aim to attend at least 1 or 2 seminars per year. Investing in yourself will be one of the best investments that you can ever do, and you will see the return by increased promotions and Success.
- Find a Mentor & Coach
A mentor or coach will push you to be accountable and grow in your personal development. A mentor or coach should be someone that you do not report to, like a boss or manager, and it is someone that you can freely talk too. Find someone who has done what you are striving to achieve. As a leader in industry, I try to mentor and encourage 3 to 4 people and that works well. Try to get a mentor, and also try to mentor people below you. It is a great thing to do, and everyone is a winner. Having a mentor also allows you to bounce ideas off your mentor in a safe environment. With a mentor you should aim to meet every 2 to 4 weeks for about one hour.
- Read Non Fiction Books
Reading non-fiction books is one of the best ways to learn new ideas and concepts. Read one hour per day, but every day. Order books from Amazon and go from there. Reading books are the best way to learn new things, and to be inspire with new ideas. However, reading is potential knowledge, and is only valuable if you put the knowledge into practice. The types of books that I started with were Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason, The Best Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon and Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
- Turn your car into a Learning Center
Most of us spend a lot of time in our car every day, and it is best to use that time productively and listen to CD’s. Don’t listen to mindless radio or music, but rather put a development CD on and listen to that. It is better to listen to motivational messages, development lectures, autobiographies and positive up lifting items. It is amazing what you pick up by listening to the CDS in the car. If you travel one hour to and from work, then that is a lot of time that you are in your car.
5 Important Factors of Professional Development
Professional Development is all about undertaking further Qualifications, and getting on the job type training. For example, undertaking Professional degrees such as getting a University Bachelors Degree, Masters and PhD, or undertaking an MBA or the International Masters in Practicing Management (IMPM)
You cannot go far wrong in undertaking further education and embarking on another Degree. This could be part time or full time. Go as far up the ranks of Degrees, as you feel comfortable with, and strive for a PhD if you can. By investing in your own education, you will see the returns many times multiplied. Whatever you paid for the course, you will see the salary increase a couple of times over.
If you are an Engineer, or want to be an Engineer, then the following is beneficial:
- Chartered Engineer (CEng). If you are an Engineer then one globally recognized qualification is that of Chartered Engineer and is issued by a Professional Engineering Institute, such as IMarEST or IMechE. You must first fulfill an academic base, such as a Master Degree in Engineering, then undertake a work experience. There are 5 levels of Competency.
Sufficient experience to allow demonstration of following competencies: A: Knowledge and understanding, B: Ability to apply knowledge in practice, C: Leadership and management skills, D: Interpersonal skills and E: Professional conduct.
The requirements to become Chartered are: Need a Master Degree Academic Base, Experience Based Learning Path may be Sufficient, 4-5 Years Post Graduate Work Experience, Fill in Application Form and Email Resume, Peer Review Interview (PRI), Membership Committee meet every 2 months. Once you become Chartered you also get the recognition of being a Member of The Institute and having the letters MIMarEST after your name. Whatever profession you are in, there will be similar Industry recognized qualifications.
- Professional Engineer (PE). This is US based, and is from State to State. This qualification for Engineers is extremely recognized in the US. Sit an exam. To become licensed, engineers must complete a four-year college degree, work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams and earn a license from their state’s licensure board. Then, to retain their licenses, PEs must continually maintain and improve their skills throughout their careers.
- International Masters in Practicing Management (IMPM). This type of Course is more reflective about the art of managing, and is different from an MBA, which is more theoretical. The IMPM is originated by Prof Henry Mintzburg at Montreal University. He started the course about 20 years ago. The course takes place in 5 different locations. The IMPM has allowed to me to develop as a Leader. The main focus of undertaking another Masters was to refine my skills. To develop myself, and to continually be growing. Also to walk the talk in the importance of continually learning and developing. I felt I could not expect my employees to study and learn if I was not doing it myself!
- Become a Fellow. Once you become a Member, the next goal is to become a Fellow of The Institute. Need 10-15 years of Work Experience, of increasing levels of competency and experience. for FIMarEST use this as a road map to be intentional about development, otherwise you can lose lack of focus and easily drift off course. Aim to increase competency and levels of responsibility. Intentional on the job experience and training. Also specific training. Join Professional Institutes. Aim to be a Fellow of your chosen Profession. Use it as a road map for greatness.
An Engineer I used the Institute as a road map for my career, and it help govern what I needed to learn and what competencies I needed to improve on. Being a Fellow of a Professional Institute is the top level that you can attend and you are at the top of your profession. Most people never become a Fellow, and some people may not achieve this until they are in their 50’s. Through intentional learning and developing, and to put things into perspective, I became a Fellow when I was 34.
- Join Institutes for Networking. When you join an Institute you will network with like-minded people. Important to go this. Get journals and magazines that will give you information and knowledge. Also Institutes and Societies have Technical Meetings and presentations. These are normally held in your local region, and these are well worth attending. May have to pay $30 to $40 to attend a meeting, but you will get fed, receive information, and network with great people.
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough”
– Og Mandino
Important Common Factors for both Personal and Professional Development.
- Make yourself more valuable – ‘Invest in yourself’
If you want to be successful, then you have to grow and invest in yourself. I have read that it is better to invest in yourself than your day job! You are more valuable, and you need to be more valuable in the work place. If you make yourself more valuable than you will be paid more because of what you offer and can do. You are then beginning to raise above just being average, and again, who wants to be average. Minimum wage in the US is about $25k per year and that is average. If you develop yourself, then you can charge out your services at a higher rate. The CEO of large companies may earn millions per year because they are extremely valuable. You have to make yourself valuable. The way that you do that is by investing in yourself.
It is so important that you have a lifelong ambition of continually refining your skills and undertaking studying and learning. You can never go far wrong by undertaking studying of some shape or form. If you want to change your present circumstances than you much develop yourself by reading and learning. Most people complain about their present circumstances, they don’t like the job they have, the house they live in or the car they drive. They have to read and learn, and be inspired by new ideas and insights.
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows” – Ralph Marston
- Be Intentional
The first step on the pathway to personal development is that you have to be intentional. You have to take intentional action, and undertake a bit every day. Force yourself to switch off the TV and go and read a book or listen to a motivational CD.
You also have to be patient. You have to work at this incrementally, and keep at it over a long period of time. Initially there will be a tendency to see no out puts happening, and to want to give up, but you are growing during this time. It is like planting a seed and watering each day. Initially it looks like nothing is happening, then all of a sudden the seed germinates and starts to grow rapidly. You will see the fruit of your efforts.
“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self” – Aldous Huxley
Make a commitment today
Make a commitment today to yourself about working on your Personal and Professional Development. It is never too late to start and you are never too old. You can start today, and make a commitment to both yourself and your family. Make a promise that you will not be the same in one year from now, as you are today, and that you are going to invest in yourself and grow. You are going to make that commitment to list out some goals, that you can work against over the next 12 months. Make the time to undertake some reading of non-fiction books every day, and to register on to some development classes. Perhaps get a coach, mentor or accountability partner, that can hold you accountable so that you can make the change.
Don’t be average, aim for excellence. Why be average? Aim to raise above the rest. ‘Birds of a feather flock together’ and it is important that you align yourself with people that are going places.
Personal Development is about growing yourself for your life, whilst Professional Development is about growing yourself for your Career. Both Personal and Professional development is required to get to the top of all 3 pyramids of engineering, management and leadership. Put a plan in place to look at both Personal and Professional Development.
Personal and professional development is a lifelong experience, and we should always be continually refining our skills, and learning new ones. Learning should be undertaken daily, and we should be aiming to learn something even if we do not feel like it. Be inspired, be uplifted, see your untapped potential, and obtain abundance in all areas of your life. By applying these things, and working on these items daily, you will live the life of your dreams, and you will be Successful!
The Jukes Group is committed to peoples’ success. It is our mission ‘to grow and inspire both people and business and to help others become Successful’. We have developed a Leadership and Motivation Group that offers a range of Services so that you can become a better Leader and Person. Services such as one-on-one Coaching and Mentoring, a Job Opportunity Service which include development classes, Leadership & Motivation Classes, Personal & Professional Development classes, and Leadership Webinars. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you would like to know more about our services.
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