It is surprising how many professional women are concerned that courses they take should be professional development-based rather than personal. It is as though women are loathe to give themselves the opportunity to grow personally, especially if someone else is paying. The truth is that any personal development you take is going to help your professional development and usually the two are reciprocal.
Understanding this is one of those vital professional women’s issues and it needs addressing. Professional women DO have different needs than men. Women are often battling confidence issues, time-balancing issues and identity issues. We know that women make great leaders, but for so many of us we don’t see it as ourselves personally.
‘Professional’ development courses are important for all professional women of course. It is here you develop your skills and knowledge base that are specific to the area you have chosen to work in. The more you can acquire the better equipped you are to be in that pipeline and move on up the ladder. Keeping up to date in your field and improving your skills are vital to on-going success. Professional women who want to keep ahead of the game know this.
What many professional women don’t realize though is that every professional course or bit of training you take affects your personal growth as well. The more skills and knowledge you acquire the more confident you become as a professional. That confidence carries over into every aspect of your life. Adding to your list of ‘I Can’ is wonderful for any woman’s self-esteem.
Personal development for professional women is never a waste of time. The more you grow as a person the more you more you can bring to your professional role. Understanding professional women issues and understanding your self are transferable skills that you can use anywhere. There are also some personal development courses that can be quite specific to the particular area you work in.
Developing as a person gives confidence, freedom and self-esteem. These are all major professional women issues that hold so many of us back. Learning to manage your time, learning to be confident, learning to balance your family and working life are all things that make you more productive as a professional. If you are offered any personal development courses – take them.
Finding a balance between professional and personal development courses is something we all need to do. If you are aware that you need one more than the other then tip the scales a little. It is important that we don’t see professional development as giving and personal development as taking. Both are both. Don’t buy into the guilt of thinking that ‘indulging’ in personal development is giving back nothing because it really is. Professional women need personal development to be the best they can.
As women we so often question our own value in both a personal and professional sense. Undertaking both professional and personal development education is empowering and productive.