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What is personal development?

I have been looking for a job for quite some time now. Though I attended a number of job interviews, the result was negative. I think I have lost my ability to convince an employer after two years of staying at home to bring up my child. One of my friends suggested me to attend some personal development training to improve my job prospects. Do you think it is a good idea? What is personal development? Can you suggest some good personal development programs for me to attend? Can you provide me with some personal development plan ideas?

Alexa Spicer

in Self Improvement

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Kevin Sutter on February 2, 2018

Many people find it difficult to understand what is meant by personal development. In simple terms, personal development means the ways people measure their own abilities, disabilities, likes and dislikes, and organize their own lives and goals in such a way that they are capable of using their full potential. Programs on personal development are meant to help people do these activities in a more coherent and enhanced manner with more self-awareness. Obviously, there are a large number of personal development learning programs from different organizations and it is impossible to mention all of them. A few online courses are listed here.

The first one is the Career Success Specialization course from the University of California. According to the course website, this course is designed to help you “build, develop and hone the essential skills needed to improve your employability and advancement in today’s dynamic workforce”. In this course, you will learn how to communicate your value to the prospective employers. In this course, you will learn communication, management, negotiation, problem solving, business writing, time management, entrepreneurship, and finance. I feel this course can help you enormously in your search for employment.

Another useful course, I think, is Achieving Personal and Professional Success Specialization from the University of Pennsylvania. According to their claims, this course is designed to teach you the tools and techniques for defining and achieving success at home and work. By taking this course, you will learn to identify your passion and core values. In addition, this course will cover the strategies needed to apply these values in your real life. Moreover, there are lessons covering how to work well with others, how to set goals, influencing people effectively, and how to communicate effectively to achieve what you want. The advantage of this course over most other personal development courses is that it focuses more on successful personal practices which are useful everywhere from your office to your own home. While most other courses focus on topics related to successful organizational practices, this teaches you personal development techniques. A great pick for everyone. A few other courses I would like to point out are Improving Communication Skills from University of Pennsylvania, Creative Problem Solving from University of Minnesota, Positive Psychology from University of Pennsylvania, Introduction to Personal Branding from University of Virginia, A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment from Indian School of Business, and Successful Negotiation from University of Michigan. As I mentioned earlier, the list is too long. These are only a few online courses I found attractive. Best of luck in your search for employment.

Caleb Jenkinsa year ago

These personal development training programs can be of immense help. I too faced the same situation you mentioned a few years ago. I left my job when I became a mother. However, when I wanted to reenter employment later on, I found that I had completely lost my confidence and skills. I was not able to express myself and I was not able to convince myself about my employability. I joined an online personality development course from edX. It helped me very much in a number of ways. I learnt how to look into my own goals and how to make a plan to achieve them. I also learnt to recognize my skills and how to stay focused on my goals. That was a great relief. I landed a good job in two months with more self-awareness and confidence. I am sure taking such a course will help you gain the confidence you need and get a good job in near future. Best of luck.

Noel Byrda year ago

Personal development is the key factor that enhances the growth of confidence in a person. As a result, one gets to improve on their body language, which is important when you want to effectively pass a message. When a person goes through personal development programs, he/she understands himself/herself better and is able to relate well to the immediate environment.

In today’s world, conflicts occur because of the slightest reasons. Knowing yourself will always give you an opportunity to find simple resolutions to everyday problems that would otherwise have led to some kind of chaos. 


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