Monday, May 13, 2013

Work, Education and Free time

These days there are very few jobs for life, you always have to be thinking one step ahead if you want to develop your career or job prospects. Take students gone are the days where you did your degree without having a job. Now there a 23 year old students studying MBA´s and holding down full time jobs. Sometimes this is just to help to try and pay off their rising education bills other times its to support a family which they now have. Another reason is because of the job market demanding that you have experience and the degree and this generation want to get ahead as quickly as possible.


Working while studying because you are in too much debt helps you to learn time management and finances. Working to help support your family also helps but maybe your personal development should have started before you decided to start a family. If you had learned to use protective measures in your relationship and/or had thought through the financial burden of having children while you yourself had not finished your education yet, you might not be feeling overwhelmed right now trying to balance school, work and family life. Getting a job due to the job market demanding experience and the degree but then not being able to concentrate fully on either can have devastating effects. Don't just take any job that you can get, if you are really serious about getting experience and that degree or MBA choose a company that will support this and understand when it is exam time and you need to devote more hours to study than to getting that report in on time.
One of the basics of personal development should be common sense however this is not something you can do a course on. The closest thing would be a course on decision making and analysis. You also have to be motivated. You can get a mentor to help and guide you but at the end of the day they are not you only you can take the steps needed to get you where you want to be. Now with the Internet there is no end of information on any given topic you just have to take the time to search. If you want to improve your skills there are a lot of free courses out there. Or if you can use the skill in your current job maybe you can get your company to help pay. Anything is possible you just have to be realistic with your time and money and your abilities. Nothing can help you more than knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes.
A lot of people wait until something happens to them before they start thinking about there next job or career. This can happen due to a milestone birthday or being made redundant. This is being reactive not proactive. You should always be thinking of the next move before you become stuck or unhappy in your current job. This is part of work life balance. Career changes cant happen overnight you need to plan 2 to 6 years to get the skills, openings and experience needed to change your career successfully. Whatever skill are in demand now will not be the in thing in 6 years time. Take your time and don't rush into picking something new to do nothing would be worse than taking 3 years to move to something you hate. Of course dot forget to network even when you don't think you have a network start with friends and family, you never know where it will lead
Don't forget to think about retirement. It is never to early to start putting money aside and also think about what you might like to do with all that free time. Maybe join some associations, chair on some boards. This is a time where you could study again something you have always wanted to study but did not as you did not think it would have been useful for a job or you got talked out of it when you were young. What about travel is there a country you have always wanted to visit? What language do they speak? I have always wanted to learn to fix bikes and cars and by the time i retire i will have the time and money to spend on this.
Also have fun you may find that things you do in your free time will help you gain skills that will prove invaluable in a different job or career. For example you may be doing a flower arranging course were you meet someone who is looking for a partner in there wedding planning business. Along with your great organizational skills this might be an area for you to look into.

Personal and professional development are one and the same it just depends on how you use it.

Visit to talk to mentors working in professional companies.

Courtesy Article Base

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