Let’s sit on the time machine and travel into 2025. Now, you have acquired all the necessary degrees and certifications and are all set for the job market. You land your dream job and begin your journey. But few years down the line, you aren’t growing in your career, you quickly get frustrated by the pressure and are always grumpy. Even within a team, you haven’t been able to forge good relations. Gradually, it dawns on you that just equipping yourself with the degrees, certifications, and skillsets is not enough. You must have an evolved emotional quotient to survive and prosper in your life, both personal as well as professional.
Self-development is the most underrated skill. In this competitive era, the more developed your intellect is, the better you are braced to face the adversities. Knowing yourself inside out and working on your weaknesses is not a waste of time; in fact, it is an investment.
Albert Einstein said the focus should be on lifelong learning. The moment learning stops, personal growth also stops. You have to cultivate that eagerness and inquisitiveness to learn individual skills. Working towards your personal development is essential because it helps you to make your life more productive, peaceful and fulfilling. Someone has rightly said, be the change you want to see in others. So let’s take small steps and embark on the journey of self-transformation.
(1) Time Management
Do you know what is the core reason for your daily stress? The inability to use time productively. Time is one resource that God has distributed equally among every human being. Whether it is Bill Gates or your neighborhood shopkeeper, everyone has 24 hours at his disposal. How to utilize it certainly makes all the difference. Today, we are juggling multiple responsibilities, and if we are unable to do justice of even one of our roles, stress starts building. You need to stop this right now and take action to manage time effectively. Time Management is an art, and it starts with prioritizing the tasks, allocating time for each work and recognizing when you at your productive best.
(2) Communication Skills
You are just about to begin your career and all set to meet new people around you all the time. Even though the mode of communication today has pushed everyone behind keyboards and keypads, the way you express yourself is still relevant. Great communication skills include conveying the message articulately at the right time, in the right tone and to the right person. One significant factor that distinguishes an excellent communicator from a bad one is the level of confidence with which you put across your message.
(3) Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solving skills, also known as conflict resolution skills is critical to your professional success. At every stage in life, you have to face conflicting situations or problems wherein you have to make optimal use of scarce resources. To progress in life you must know how to solve these things more strategically. In the first step, you have to identify and acknowledge the problem, look at options and conduct a What-If analysis to prepare you for all the consequences.
(4) Conquer Your Fears
If you think being fearless means the absence of fear, you can’t be more mistaken. It is only human to have worries, but it takes extraordinary powers to face your fear and rise above it. The correct definition of being fearless is to conquer your fears and not avoid it. There are some fears which arise out of internal conflict, while specific fears are external. There may be certain qualities that you lack, and you fear a situation wherein you may have to apply those qualities or skills. On the other hand, you may have all the attributes, but the external situation is beyond your control. In this case, you may fear that your qualities are of no use. In each of these cases, you have to rise above your fears, take charge of the situation and do best that you can to salvage it. There is no scope for self-doubt here.
(5) Be All Ears!
The art of listening is something that can lead you to so many possibilities and avenues. Someone said, when you only talk, you are only repeating what you know. But when you listen to others, you are imbibing another person’s point of view and broadening your knowledge. Good listening doesn’t just mean hearing the message, but also understanding the message and the body language as well as responding positively.
Listening is a critical link in the art of communication, and if you do not listen carefully, you may misunderstand the message and the conveyor can get frustrated. Greater customer satisfaction, enhanced productivity, better team coordination, and improved knowledge-sharing are all the results of good listening.
In personal life, the art of listening can do wonders for your relationships. Loving ties are fostered when everyone in a relationship is well-heard and understood.
(6) Beat Procrastination
50% of the time, we fail to achieve even the most straightforward task because of our habit of overthinking and overanalyzing. While thinking and analyzing is essential, too much of it cripples our senses. To beat the habit of procrastination, you must first understand why you have got into this habit in the first place. Is it because you are intimidated by the task? Confused about the procedure? Don’t know how to begin or plain laziness? The moment you identify the reason, you first need to work on overcoming it. The next step is to set a deadline by which you need to finish the task. When deadlines are stringent, you will naturally cut down on the procrastination time and start doing the job.
(7) Adaptability Quotient
Life doesn’t always happen as planned, and it is best to prepare yourself for the worst instead of being devastated and clueless at a later stage. The famous mantra of “Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst” works best for increasing your adaptability quotient. If you are flexible enough, you should be able to adjust to any of the situations without losing your mind. Whether it is new technology, a new boss, a different team, or a completely alien work profile, you should be able to fit into any mold that life casts. The three necessary steps to be adaptable to life’s circumstances are:
(1) Accept the change
(2) Perform a benefits and drawbacks analysis
(3) Decide on actionable steps to reap the benefits such as learning new skills
(4) Decide on measures to minimize the drawbacks
A professional certification can only make you stand out from the crowd, but to rise above the crowd, you have to invest in yourself continuously. Remember, not everyone is born with these skills and attributes. However, you can slowly develop these skills by being more mindful, listening to your inner voice, and learning through external sources such as motivational books, podcasts, videos, etc.