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Why are personal and professional development both key to career success?

What are personal and professional development?

Professional and personal development can mean many different things, and can be very personal to us individually. 

Professional development is learning which specifically supports professional credentials and career advancement. Personal development is the process of pursuing personal growth. The two aren’t necessarily separate – succeeding and feeling fulfilled in our personal lives helps us feel confident and capable in work, and vice versa.

Why are personal and professional development so important? Isn’t it enough that I show up to work every day?

Personal and professional development are key to helping us develop the skills needed for work and in life.

Skills which can be gained from professional and personal development activities include:

  • How we adapt and rise to challenges
  • Our communication and how we relate to and work with others
  • Teamwork and resolving conflict 
  • Self-awareness and self-reflection
  • Compassion and care – for ourselves and for others

Why professional development matters – the recruiters’ perspective

Professional development is important because it gives you professional confidence. 

In the translation and localization industry, it’s particularly important to keep up with your training. When Inger Larsen, our Founding Managing Director, began her career, there was effectively no translation and localization industry. Now, advancements in machine translation, artificial intelligence and software tools mean that the industry is constantly advancing.

Professional development shows your prospective and current employers (and LinkedIn connections) that you’re staying up-to-date and relevant in your industry. But more than that, it demonstrates a good attitude, (which is very attractive to employers) that you’re open to learning on different levels.

Why is personal development so key to professional success? 

Personal development can make a huge difference to how you work.

Livia Stephenson, our Client Manager and Managing Partner, has long held a passion for sports. And, while they might not seem linked, competing as an athlete from an early age has been instrumental in her recruitment career. Livia states that:

“Sports makes sense to me. However much hard work you put in, that’s what you get out of it. Sometimes life is unfair, but in order to succeed, you have to accept this and still put your whole heart into everything you do. That’s what drives me, and it’s what’s helped me succeed in my career as a Client Manager.”

Inger, alongside a project management qualification, is currently doing a two-year garden design course. Having taken on many projects in her own garden (thank you, Garden Rescue!), the course wasn’t by any means the start of the road. But, through a formal qualification, she will gain technical knowledge and skills. Describing her course, Inger said:

“It’s nice to have something that is not related to work, but gives you pleasure and satisfaction on a personal level. Learning about a completely new area makes me feel good about myself. It’s a wonderful luxury, and it makes your brain happier.”

How do I start building my personal and professional development plans?

  1. Make time. Find some time which you can realistically block out and stick to. 
  2. Identify areas for improvement. You might already know what you’d like to do – if not, start by thinking about the passions you’d like to pursue, goals you’d like to achieve, or areas where you’d like to see progress. 
  3. Create a plan. This could mean identifying courses or qualifications, finding local or online resources, or even finding online content which will help you build your knowledge – just make sure the information is verifiable and legitimate! 
  4. Monitor your progress. Set some markers for progression and success. Check in regularly to make sure you’re hitting your targets – and if not, consider why, and make adjustments.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that you are taking steps to improve and progress – and that’s a reason to be proud. Best of luck!

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