It’s very easy at the moment to be miserable. The weather is rotten, the economy is rotten and the upcoming budget is likely to be rotten. A lot of us are insecure in our jobs, we don’t have the excess funds we used to which allowed us a break from the monotony of everyday life and subsequently, we plod along waiting for something to happen which throws a bit of something different into our days. The last thing on our minds is self development.

Firstly, try and figure out the source of the dissatisfaction. Some methods include:

o Keep a mood journal, when do you feel most dissatisfied?

o List what you want? Honestly?

o List what you want to change?

o List how you could make things better?

o List things you could potentially do (be realistic)

o How can you manipulate your fate?

Self development, personal or professional makes us feel good. It makes us feel like we have done something useful with our time. It gives us something to talk about, it allows us to challenge ourselves, do something different, expand our skills and knowledge, and learn something new. So why not?

At work

Ask the boss for a lateral move in order to learn more about the company. This will show the bosses that you are interested in how the organisation works and when things change, you may be further up the promotion ladder given you have shown enthusiasm and commitment.

Ask for extra projects. Although we are all overworked, underpaid, yadda yadda yadda, it might be interesting to take on something new. It will give you a chance to talk to different people and get away from your ‘normal’ day to day routine.

Suggest different ways of doing things. Experiment with the way things are done (check this is acceptable first). Look for ways to improve things. Maybe you have spotted a process which you feel could be improved, have a go and then let the boss know whether it worked or not. Could be a good way to bring yourself to the attention of the boss (in a good way!).

Research courses and programs (internally and externally) that interest you or could benefit you in your current job or in the future. Outline to the boss why they would be good for you and your development.

Offer to mentor a junior member of staff. This is extremely fulfilling when done properly. It allows you to share knowledge and expertise and allows you to build relationships outside of your ‘normal’ day to day ones.

As Mark Twain said ‘the only way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up’.

Change your attitude. Try and go to work with a positive attitude, help those around you, be the one who goes for the coffee for a change, and accept tasks willingly and with a positive outlook. If you pretend for long enough, you might change the way you feel.

Ask for feedback (but be prepared for it!). Sometimes we feel undervalued or taken for granted when really we just need someone to tell us we are doing a good job. A small boost of confidence goes a long way.

Be a role model for others.

Personally

Try to fill your mind with positive ideas, thoughts and inspirations – this will leave no room for the negative ones. Try not to see everything in black and white; the world isn’t black and white.

Try to learn something new everyday, even if it’s only watching the news or reading a different paper. Pick something you wouldn’t normally pay attention to and try to discuss with other people.

Volunteer to do something you wouldn’t normally. This could be the simplest thing, from helping someone across the road to volunteering to help a charity collect money/clothes/food and so on.

Check out your local library for free courses and information.

Do something that challenges you mentally or physically.

Be a role model for others.

Set yourself targets for what you want to achieve and congratulate yourself when you have succeeded.

Don’t dwell on previous failures, this time will be different.

Tackle something you have been avoiding. You always feel better when you do something you don’t want to do!

Self development takes many forms; mental, spiritual and physical and so on. It is up to us, no one else to take what it is we want and make it happen. It matters because it is important to feel happy and fulfilled, both professional and personally.

‘Accept personal responsibility for your own growth; no one can do it for you. What you do today will determine your readiness for tomorrow’. – Anon


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