Reading & Writing

Balancing Your Career With Personal Development

It’s human nature to strive for the best. We want to be able to support ourselves and our families, but in this day and age, we also have endless opportunities for personal development as well. Depending on your line of work, these sorts of opportunities may be more available, such is the case with health care professionals, or maybe your personal growth simply requires climbing the corporate ladder. In any case, chances are that at some point in your career, you will have to balance your normal work day with other schooling, accreditations, your own small business, etc.

Corporate Professionals

For corporate professionals, things can be a little more complicated depending on your exact profession. For example, if you’re a lawyer, your schedule may be highly variable depending on court cases or where you are at in your career. This can make personal growth quite difficult and present a barrier to overcome. Here are a couple suggestions for identifying areas where your own personal growth may be able to thrive.

Online

Surprisingly enough, many high-rolling companies are actually fairly far behind on the technological side of things (that is, unless it’s a technology or marketing based company). Learning more about how to assert your own personal presence online can go a long way. For example, if you are a lawyer and are particularly interested in a certain type of law, conflict, or situation in general, you can develop your own personal website that calls on your professional expertise. You can learn a lot of new and highly applicable skills along the way, and this could potentially provide you with professional rewards as well.

Hobbies

This may sound a little weird, but developing a hobby outside of work can actually lead to some success down the road, while also enhancing work-life balance. The only problem here is that it’s not guaranteed. Hobbies are a great way to network, especially if it is a popular hobby that you can do within the city. Just check out the hobbies of the successful. The better ones for networking typically revolve around exercise (e.g. spin classes, yoga classes, recreational sports, etc), which makes sense considering these sorts of activities are usually highly beneficial for overall health and can boost productivity. Other activities revolving art or relaxing can also be good ways to meet other professionals and give your mind a break, while also growing as a person.

Health Care Professionals

Again, depending on the exact profession, health care professionals can often improve their resume by completing further accreditations in, or related to, their field. This is also a great way to strengthen your knowledge base in your current profession, but it can also lead to increases in salary, better hours, and potentially a more desired type of work. For example, a licensed practical nurse may decide they want a further challenge and to take on more responsibility in the workplace. During their personal time, they may then study for something like the NCLEX-RN exam that is known to be more technical with lab values and other information that could promote a nurse to a higher level. The point here is that they continue to work in their current profession, they challenge themselves as a person and a professional, and ultimately, grow as both a person and professional in their field of work.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the main takeaway point is that personal growth and professional growth are often intertwined. What may seem to be purely one type of growth could actually benefit the other, so as long as you are often thinking about ways that you could improve your situation, chances are you are already on a good path to living a better life both personally and professionally. All the best!…

From Reading To Creative Writing

 

It may have been Ponyboy’s introspective, thoughtful nature or Johnny’s desperate desire to hold onto a smidgen of optimism despite constant turmoil, or maybe it was Dallas’s loyal heart that was well hidden behind the tough exterior accentuated by a leather jacket and cheap steel toe boots, but somehow my young son related to the emotions attributed to the Greasers in the book The Outsiders.

Childhood Loves

My mother was an elementary school librarian, and to me, that was the best job she could have held. Every day, she had unrestricted access to books, and that meant I had unrestricted access to books. All I had to do was ask for a title, and if a student didn’t check it out, she brought the book home to me. Who could ask for a better scenario?

This unfettered access to books developed in me a true love and appreciation for creative storytelling. As soon as I could read on my own, I focused on the pages that told of love, mystery, and teenage angst. Authors like Judy Blume, V.C. Andrews and Stephen King received my undivided attention. Oftentimes I would reread…and reread…and reread…the same story, such as The Outsiders, one of my all-time favorites. Once I learned S.E. Hinton was only 15 years old when she started writing the story about the classic battle between the haves and have-nots, somewhere in my subconscious I knew I would be a writer some day, too.

Passed On Through the Generations

Although my love for reading creative stories never waned, my desire to cultivate my own novel or short story never bloomed. Rather, I found myself drawn to the world of non-fiction, reporting on market trends, healthcare happenings, and interviewing newsmakers. I still get to write, just not original plots borne out of my imagination

Then I became a mother of a voracious reader. Since he was a toddler, my son loved stories of all kinds, from picture books to classic science fiction adventures told by the inventive Jules Verne to making up his own tales that entertained us at the dinner table. As my son grew older and broadened his reading library, I introduced some of the books my mother would bring home for me, including The Outsiders.

I was interested to see his reaction. Would it be different because he wasn’t a preteen girl? Would he connect to the story that was written nearly 40 years ago?

To my great joy, my son was captivated by Ponyboy and his relationship with his brothers and their friends as well as the complicated existence between societal groups and the individuals who wanted to break free from the “acceptable” expectations thrust upon them.

Inspiring Words

The thing that really struck me, however, is the fact that my son has pursued that creative area I didn’t. He has used his love of the written word and great storytelling to create his own fictional short stories and manuscripts. My son has taken his passion for reading and turned it into a creative outlet through his own writing endeavors.

 …