As Part 2 to Key Characteristics to Accelerate Career Growth, rekindling self-actualization is a process – one that cannot be done overnight. 

First of all, when embarking on this personal development journey, you will feel like much of it is selfish.  A focus on me, myself, and I.  This is important to balance with the needs of those around you – introspection and development must not become selfish.  True growth is when the needs and wishes of others come before your own.

Personal Development

To undertake personal development, start by addressing (over some time):

  • Confronting your fears – fear of change, fear of the unknown.  Our President always says, ‘what would you do if you weren’t scared’?!
  • Accept guilt and shame for career and personal choices made in the past.
  • Resolve your anger (internal and external).  Forgiveness is key to growth!
  • Experience grief and loss – change is scary.
  • Recognize negative self-talk and deception.  Words from others and internal thoughts can define and shape your perception – taking you away from your potential 
  • Permit yourself to change – assert yourself.  Find the authority within.

4 Steps to Accelerate your Career Growth:

  1. Get to Know your Core Strengths

You might be able to do something, but is it a strength or just a task?  Is it something you desire to do regularly as part of your career?  Getting to know these strengths allows you to focus on what comes naturally.  Take courses to build on these strengths as required. Business professionals often say, “outsource what you don’t want to do”.

  1. Visualize the Person you Want to Become

Setting a goal is good – but visualizing yourself doing the job builds up the confidence and drive to achieve it. 

  1. Create your Personal Development Plan

Not everyone can achieve their goal without the training, and mentorship required to get there.  Sit down and make a plan – a realistic plan with achievable goals.  This plan, with milestones, will allow you to focus on the finish line.

  1. Create a Career Path and Follow It

Now you have a development plan for training and mentorship, now you need to gain the experience to build on that training.  Look at what you’ve done to-date that is transferable and what you need to build-on.  What ‘types’ of organizations can build your skills? Don’t try to leap-frog from the mail-room to the CEO office – it takes time and patience to develop the skills and experience through every transition.  When at all possible, when changing jobs, keep the end goal in mind without negatively affecting credibility – do not leave employers too quickly.  Is it a lateral move that gains you additional marketable experience?   If it seems to be career-enhancing, is it part of your plan or a side-step?  Don’t forget to identify potential obstacles to your path and potential ways to overcome each obstacle.

  1. Take Time to Live

It has been said often that someone on their deathbed does not say ‘I wish I’d worked more’.  Some individuals ‘work to live’ and others ‘live to work’.  My sense is there should be a balance between the two.  Physical and mental health is one of Maslow’s needs, without retaining the bottom basic needs of Maslow’s hierarchy, the self-actualization piece will falter.

Whether you are starting your career path or have been in the workforce for a while, listen to your inner curiosity to find out just what you are meant to do.  It is never too late to develop yourself.

  1. This article reminds me of Dr. Spencer Johnson story in ” Who moved my Cheese”. It is never late to take make a transformation in career or life. It all drills down to making choices. Whether one’s choice gives positive or negative results, it is true that making a choice is the first big step.

    I agree that hopping jobs too often for marginal benefits and luring offers sometimes can backfire. Also, it is true that one must have end goal in mind when making a change.

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