5 Essential Personal Development Tactics We Should Do Every Day to Drive Our Careers

Written by Neel Bhatt, Contributor, May 2021

Our lives have increasingly become more fast paced than ever before, with our personal and professional calendars being heavily blocked out for days, weeks and even at times, months in advance.  Whilst we continue to tackle each day as it comes, there are several strategies which can be implemented to make our journey more effective, manageable and rewarding. Here we will explore 5 essential personal development tactics that we should implement everyday which can drive our careers.


1. Write down 3 critical goals at the start of the day

Starting the day with a focused mindset shapes how the rest of the day unfolds. With our hectic schedules, it can become challenging quite quickly to take a step-back and reflect on the various tasks ahead. As a result, it is easy to rush into ‘tackle’ mode and start executing our required objectives head on, without any clarity. This can cause a negative impact in the output quality, a factor which we want to avoid in order to succeed in our careers.

It is important to plan and prioritise activities for the day as this allows us to focus our energy on the most important tasks. Utilise a sticky note or even a digital reminder application to write down the top 3 critical goals that must be completed by the end of the day. Perform this task in hierarchical order, with 1 being the most important and 3 the least.

Having these 3 critical goals written down allows us to effectively plan our calendar and provides the opportunity to block out protected and dedicated time to attend to the required actions. We should be mindful that during the day, we may be faced with unplanned obstacles which could delay completion. Embrace these elements and adopt an agile and open mindset. Therefore, when these situations do arise, we are able to feel less overwhelmed and can remain focused. These are key skills which are transferable and essential in driving our careers forward.

The principle of setting objectives at the start of the day demonstrates effective planning and project management. The process of goal setting, which includes the following elements; specific, measurable and realistic, allows us to have a positive mindset and become successful (Walker D, 2001). We can take this one step further and utilise the goal setting method – SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. This is a structured approach to defining our goals and ensuring we reach them in a timely fashion. Furthermore, having objectives written down provides us with a sense of accountability to deliver.


2. Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

To propel our careers forward and drive change, we need to be able to accept both positive and constructive feedback. The feedback we get should be from a range of people spanning across different management levels, expertise and years of experience. This will provide a holistic approach to the feedback received and suggested areas for development to assist with progressing in our careers.

Take the opportunity to receive formal and informal feedback. A benefit from using a combined approach is that it can be conducted across various settings and we are not limited to one environment/medium. Building on project management, allocate specific checkpoints when leading or working as part of a team to provide and receive feedback during this process. Similarly, it is valuable to receive and provide real-time feedback.

It is important we document the feedback as this can be utilised in our 360-degree feedback appraisal journey. Some benefits of utilising the 360-degree model include: multi-dimensional approach to feedback, receive different perspectives to performance, highly-confidential, self-development and evaluation against colleagues (Emil et al., 2009). Equally, there is significant reward in providing constructive development feedback to others with the mindset of no return, since this self-less act will allow us to become more connected with others. By implementing this approach, we put ourselves in a prime opportunity to reflect on our performance and identify key areas of development.


3. Active listening

The art of active listening is a skill which we should all be developing every day, as it is essential for our personal and professional journeys. Two main benefits are, driving efficiency and building rapport (Barkai, 1984). Being physically and mentally present whilst having a conversation with others demonstrates that we are taking the interaction seriously and it has purpose. Through our body language, responses and mannerism, it can quickly become apparent as to whether we are actively listening. If we aren’t, it is likely that we have directly hindered our growth and success opportunity.

This is expressed as passive listening, which is the act of being physically present without any mental awareness regarding the topic of conversation. Example responses include but are not limited to: “Hmm,” and “Sure, sure” (Barkai, 1984).

We should start the day with the intention of being focused on all activities we conduct.  This includes paying attention when others are communicating, being engaged and not showing any signs of passive listening. Demonstrating active listening will allow us to become more connected with colleagues and this will ultimately benefit our careers. Take the time when you are next having a conversation and reflect on how engaged you were, and if you truly were actively listening.


4. Focus on self-confidence

Whilst we are in the process of personal development, our mental state and wellbeing should be paramount, with specific attention to our confidence, as this impacts how we conduct each activity. There are many tactics which can be implemented in our daily lives to boost our self-confidence. Examples of this are; visualising success, being kind to ourselves, having a positive mindset friendship circle, exercise and appropriate nutrition.

To achieve our desired career objectives, we must reflect on the characteristic of self-confidence and what it provides. A fundamental aspect of having self-confidence is that we obtain a positive and realistic view of ourselves, the situation and belief in executing our desired plans (Mo Lee & Latif Bin, 2014).

It is imperative that we channel our energy in focusing on self-confidence, as this is an essential skill to obtain when attempting to achieve a promotion, challenging a compensation package, working cross-functionally and showcasing our project proposals to teams in a comprehendible manner. From this, we will be recognised as a source of integrity and leadership as we demonstrate self-confidence internally and externally. Naturally, this will allow career opportunities to arise and for us to become more successful in our careers.


5. Always seeking new opportunities to challenge yourself

The most effective method of growing our skillset and competencies to develop our careers is by challenging ourselves on a regular basis. This includes stepping outside of our comfort zone to take on a new venture and learn from the experience. We should aim to assess each project and task against our strengths, areas of development and utilise our self-confidence to tackle growth opportunities. This could range from sending a formal email to an external stakeholder, to leading a large corporate event. Each new task is an opportunity to challenge ourselves and build on our proficiencies.

When we detail our 3 critical goals for the day, we should assess whether one of these will be an opportunity for self-development. If on reflection, you find it difficult to address one goal, this is perfectly acceptable, as the process of seeking new opportunities and personal development is an evolving journey.

To assist with this, we can enlist the help of a mentor or a colleague to provide guidance and feedback on our current working practice with a focus on development opportunities. This also provides us with the opening to advance our networking skills, which is another fundamental trait to obtain to succeed in our careers.

Allocating time on a regular basis to reflect on our strengths and areas of opportunities are great characteristics to adopt to allow growth and development. Having protected time to focus on ourselves should be at the core of our personal and professional journeys

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Let’s summarise the 5 essential personal development tactics we should do every day to drive our careers

We have covered 5 essential personal development tactics which can be easily implemented into our daily routine to drive our careers. Remember that all 5 do not need to be all incorporated straight away and recognising the small wins is far more important. Appreciate the element of taking the first step to implement a change to boost your career – this is a real positive.

The 5 tactics include:

  • Writing down 3 critical goals at the start of the day
  • Obtaining feedback
  • Active listening
  • Focus on self-confidence
  • Always seeking new opportunities to challenge yourself

These 5 tactics, if strategically implemented in a stepwise approach, can have great potential in propelling your career forward. Set yourself a target in your career, write it down and utilise a vision board. The art of constant repetition and subconscious visualisation will assist with the fourth tactic – focus on self-confidence. With the boost in confidence, you will progressively see a more dynamic, focused and successful professional.


Written By Neel Bhatt, Guest Contributor
About The Author
About The Author

Neel Bhatt MFRPI MRPharmS, is the founder of The Dynamic Mind, a platform hosting personal and professional development content all held under the core principle of mindfulness practice.

He is a UK registered Pharmacist practicing within the Pharmaceutical Industry and has a passion for development, digital healthcare and daily integration of mindfulness practice. He also offers bespoke coaching sessions to assist others in reaching their desired key milestones in their personal and professional journey.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Humans of HR.


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The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

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References


Barkal, J. (n.d.). How To Develop The Skill of Active Listening (Vol. 30). http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/35155/1/Barkai_30PracLaw73.p

Emil, C., Irina, S., Delia, B., & Liviu, I. (2009). THE USE OF 360-DEGREE FEEDBACK METHOD. University of Oradea, 300–306.

Mo Lee, G., & Latif Bin Ahmad, A. (2014). “IT IS SELF-CONCEPT, SELF-ESTEEM OR SELF CONFIDENCE.” Faculty of Education Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. https://core.ac.uk/reader/42909055

Walker, D. (2001). Goal Setting. Kansas State University, 1–6.

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