It’s Time to Invest in Your Personal Development

Do you ever find yourself hesitating before you hit send on the registration for a big IC conference? Not sure if you should pay the annual fee to join an industry association? This may be you beginning to doubt whether this time and investment will add to your professional value. 

You could be asking yourself: “Is it worth spending hundreds of dollars for one weekend of learning?” or “Should I join an association that only meets once a month?” You may be convinced that it’s too expensive and tell yourself that you’ll just attend more local meetups for a free happy hour or two. 

Even if it’s just investing around 3-5% of your income annually, there are many benefits to investing in your personal development. As professionals, we choose to invest in ourselves so that we can get results; not only for your organization but for your professional development and mental health.

Need some more convincing? We’ve put together five benefits you’ll find when you take the leap and invest in your future! 

Benefit #1: Improved Focus and Effectiveness

It’s easier than ever to become distracted, whether it’s work-related or not. We live busy lives, and we are drowning in notifications about everything from a new tweet from your favorite celebrity to a package delivered to your front porch to useful things like when to leave for your next meeting. Sometimes it can be difficult to prioritize between work, family, friends, and yourself (or even just taking a second to breathe). 

The moment you’re able to prioritize personal development, you’ll become more engaged with and enthused by your work. Having a north star for your department is a great way to focus your efforts. For example, our partner, Cerkl, just completed an IC Measurement cheat sheet with KPIs galore. 

Making the decision to invest in yourself and career makes prioritizing these actions even more natural. Bringing clarity to your tasks can improve your motivation and will allow you to focus on the things that matter to you and your department. 

Benefit #2: Stay up to date on industry trends

No matter what industry you work in, industry trends and best practices are always evolving, and you risk being left behind. Part of your personal development plan should include becoming more aware of these constantly changing trends, technology, and tips (congratulations, you have a head start by reading this and signing up for Internal Comms Pro).

When it comes to technology, the software and techniques available to your organization to years ago are now antiquated. As Jason Anthoine discussed on the Internal Comms Procast, A.I. is no longer a tool that is only wielded by the giants of tech, and you can work it into your organization at low cost and huge impact. Investing in your personal development allows you to stay on the cutting edge for what technology is trending in your industry and how it will revolutionize your work and helps position you as a strategic leader in your company. 

Benefit #3: Ability to Seek New Opportunities

We get it. It can be scary to venture out of your comfort zone and seek out new and exciting opportunities. But, staying in the same place for years without moving forward is dangerous for your career and your growing skills. Creating goals and ambitions that are forward-thinking is vital to personal and professional development.

The job market changes so quickly, it’s essential to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. A young professional straight out of college could be making more money than you because that’s what the market demands. If you can provide quantifiable achievements, you can seek another position or a promotion with your current company with a $5,000 to $10,000 pay increase. 

Does finding a new job feel like a bit of a reach? There are many ways to fill the skills gap that won’t take over your life. Taking a course to develop your skills, attending a retreat or conference, and mingling with other pros in your industry are easy ways to find those opportunities! 

Benefit #4: The more you invest in yourself, the more you value yourself

When you start investing in yourself, you will find value in your work and your skills. You’ll also find that those around you will begin to do the same. Your co-workers and industry peers will see how you are an asset, and somebody from whom they can learn.

To be valued, you need to add value. As you grow, learn, and develop your career, you find the skills that make you the most valuable to your department. Share new ideas. Help them to grow and develop alongside you. Being a central figure for organizational change and growth will skyrocket your career.

Benefit #5: Create fulfilling relationships

The right connections help you learn and grow. Be proactive and surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand your pain and how to transcend them together. These peers will become your support group, they’ll provide you with networking opportunities, outside assistance, recommendations, and even freelance work. 

Key Takeaways:

Devoting time and a few resources to your professional development pays enormous dividends over the length of your career. While it can be a bit daunting at first, you will quickly find like-minded professionals who will help move you and your career forward.

Get out there and kill it.

The Internal Comms Pro Rise & Shine series continues to make its way across the country. Check out future dates and sign up to learn alongside your fellow #ICPros.

By Emma Hundley

In my free time, you’ll catch me gulping down coffee or binge-watching the new Netflix Original.