Your growth and development is personal. Each one of us has different needs based on our current situation and past experiences. And each one of us carries a different set of learning preferences, challenges, time constraints, and financial abilities to invest in our development.
Often times, one of two things happens with your development. You either a) follow a pre-determined path that someone else decided you needed or b) you do nothing at all. Unfortunately, option “b” is far too common. According to a 2018 report published by Gartner stated that 40% of employee attrition is driven by lack of career development. Employees believe it is their employer’s job to develop them. And I am here to say that is just plain wrong.
You are responsible for developing yourself. A good leader will support your efforts in a significant way. But working for a poor leader does not impact whether or not you can grow. **In fact, as side note, some of my best learning experiences have come when I worked for a bad boss.** A good company will support your development efforts with training budgets, tuition reimbursement policies, and maybe even internal offerings. If you work for a company without these resources, it still doesn’t stop you from developing yourself. Even if you work for a good leader at a good company, they can’t make you develop yourself.
Only YOU can do that.
And I promise you it’s easy to step into your own development and take control. I’m going to walk you through a simple 3 step model and share a tool I created to help you see results quickly!
First – I want you to understand how we learn as an adult. You can read about that in 3 Steps to Owning Your Development – Part 1. In about 10 minutes, you will have a deeper understanding and appreciate for how you actually gain new knowledge and learn new skills.
Now, let’s walk through this 3 step model for your development.
The 30 Day Development Challenge
Step 1: Be Intentional
Knowing what you want to work on for your own development can be challenging. Ask yourself:
What would I like to be able to do better or more often?
Why is this important to me?
The answers to these two questions are what will drive your ultimate goal, your motivation, and your overall direction. It is also what makes your development so personal. It’s about what you want to be able to do in this world. Your development can be career focused, community focused, relationship focused, etc… It’s about what is important to you right now.
Step 2: Set a Goal – 30 Days to Challenge Yourself
Start small here. You have 30 days to challenge yourself. It is not the size of your development goal that matters. Your goals will build on each other month after month, and before you know it you will have improved ten-fold throughout the year in very intentional way. It is okay to start small and get a feel for what works for you. The more successful you are in the beginning, the more momentum you will have to keep going!
Your goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to what you want to do, and time-based. You already have the time-based part covered since this is a 30 day challenge. Completing the chart below will help you work through the logistics of how you will achieve your goal. What are your resources? Who will help support you? How can you practice in real-life?
Step 3: Get to Work
Time for action! You can get started right away once you have named your goal for the 30 Day Development Challenge. A small checklist will get you started. Get your resources asap. Schedule learning time into your calendar, and reach out to your support network to get something on the calendar. Let them know what you are doing and how they can help. Those meetings with your mentor or a coach will hold you accountable to your goal!
Finally, carve out 15 minutes at the end of your day (put it on the calendar) to journal and reflect on your progress. This daily practice will keep your goal prioritized at the top. By Day 30, you will see just how far you have come, and you will be ready to build on that goal. Complete the worksheet every 30 days and you will be amazed how much you will grow in a year (and you will have the journey documented!).
The 30 Day Development Challenge is meant to help you see results and improve month over month. This approach is less overwhelming and allows you to build off your own momentum as you see success.
I’ve developed a 30 Day Development Guide including the template and journal pages for your own 30 Day Development Challenge.
Look for Part 3 in this series – I will share with you how to use the 30 Day Development Challenge approach month over month, for short-term and long-term goals.
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These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.
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