Personal Development As An Employee

Often, I have heard people lament about how there are no jobs in the country, how they have been looking for jobs for ages to no avail, upon the fact that they graduated with so and so grade, they are still being underpaid.

Fine, all this is true. The government barely play their role when it comes to unemployment, but the greatest contributor is you. We need to roll out all the facts here.

  • What company would want to hire, retain or pay huge salary to an employee who has stale and outdated skills on her CV/Resume”.
  • What company would want to retain an employee who doesn’t upgrade his skills through training, certifications and further study?
  • What company would want to retain or hire you when you can’t prove to yourself that you can be more than you are, or that they would lose something good if they don’t have you working for them?

According to Wikipedia, personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. In simple terms, your personal development covers those activities you carry out that makes you a better, more qualified candidate for a role.

In order to effectively carry out personal development as an employee, here are a few things you can do:

  • Industry Trends: you should know by now that over time, industries are either evolving or going out of date. Jobs like marketing and programming among a host of others. These jobs upgrade in terms of scope and tools used. For instance, marketing over the last 4 years has evolved into digital marketing. So for anyone who already is in that line of job, he or she needs to upgrade his skills by learning digital marketing skills. Same goes for programming, programming languages get updated from time to time. You don’t want to be caught using the 20th century skills while your colleagues are rounding up the 21st There is no way you can be aware of all these changes if you don’t keep up to date with trends in your industry.
  • Self-Presentation: this goes beyond what you have in your CV, the way you talk to people around you, the way you handle situations and your response per time, in terms of deadlines. All these are germane and should be greatly worked on. Your dressing is key; the way you colours and the way you put attires together all speak volume; “dress as you would want to be addressed” is still a valid statement. Make sure you smell good and not too much, you don’t want to leave your scent in an office you left about 30 minutes ago.
  • On the Job Development; A lot of people nowadays still sit back and relax when they have a job, not knowing that there’s someone out there able, willing and ready to snatch the position off them. While you are holding a position, you should always strive to get the best and easiest way to achieve your job faster, and believe me when I say even that isn’t easy to achieve. You should read up on articles and write-ups that are pertaining to your specialization. When you do your own research, you become more in sync with what you do and in a way become a specialist in it. Making you even more relevant on the job.
  • Professional certifications: In every field of work, there are professional exams you can take that would make you a better qualified candidate, for promotion or a new and better job. These professional exams are available on the national and international level. If you can afford the international professional exams, go for them and if not start with the local ones and gradually work up your way to the international exams.
  • Complimentary skill: There are jobs that complement each other. For example, a web designer would need graphic images when designing a website. Graphic design is a complimentary skill to web design and you would give yourself an edge if you learnt how to design images alongside your web design skills.
  • Get a Higher Degree if you don’t have a master’s degree, maybe it’s time you got one. If you can’t afford one right away, how about you try a diploma. There are options of online Masters that will not break the bank. These ones give you an edge, and the beauty is that you could do them while working. And if you cannot afford online MSc., there are a few reputable institutions in Nigeria that you can go to for further study. Let’s not forget to mention that some international institutions provide the option of payment in installments and distance learning which makes funding a lot easier.

If you constantly work on developing yourself you will not need to lament like the average Nigerian does when it comes to unemployment.

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