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12 Personal Development Tips for Young Professionals

What is one personal development tip you would offer a young professional?

To help new business professionals build their skillset, we asked business owners and seasoned business leaders this question for their best advice. From learning from those around you to getting to know yourself, there are several suggestions that may help in your personal and professional development for years to come.

Here are 12 tips for your personal development journey:

  • Let Your Confidence Shine

  • Learn From Those Around You

  • Try Not to Let Shyness Hold You Back

  • Dig Deep and Get to Know Yourself

  • Invest in Personal Development

  • Make Time to Network

  • Remember You Are Responsible for Your Goals

  • Connect With Your Peers

  • Always Be Yourself

  • Prioritize Your Integrity

  • Be a Goal Setter

  • Learn How to Say No

Let Your Confidence Shine

Don't let the fear hold you back that your age will cause some people not to take you seriously. A quote I once heard changed my entire mentality around this fear, "Authority is taken not given, so take it!" Show up and let your confidence shine.

Learn From Those Around You

Don't be so focused on trying to reach your goal that you forget to learn from people along the way. Everyone has something to teach us and often we need only ask. Remember, people love to talk about themselves, but they rarely want to listen to you talk about yourself.

Let them talk, ask questions about them, and be genuinely interested. Afterward, they will usually show a reciprocal interest and be more open to connecting or helping you.

Johann Warnholtz, Marketing Specialist

Try Not to Let Shyness Hold You Back

Don't be shy. No matter who you're speaking with, at one point they were new, too. Ask questions and never be afraid to learn. You have every right to be where you are and being shy will only keep you from moving forward.

Taylor Baker, CCS Facility Services

Dig Deep and Get to Know Yourself

Make getting to know yourself your life's work. I don't mean figuring out your tastes in things or your superficial preferences, I mean figuring out what's important to you, what motivates you, where your boundaries are, and what your priorities are. These will shift over time, so getting to know yourself is not a destination but a journey.

Only from a space of self-knowledge can you live in a way, personally and professionally, that will satisfy you. This quote by Socrates says it well: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Michele Leonelli, Phocus Law

Invest in Personal Development

Always learn. Investing in our own self-development will provide more returns on investment than almost anything else we do. Perhaps the one thing that would provide more is meditation. But that, too, is personal development as it allows you to slow down and look at things from different perspectives. If there is one thing you could do for yourself, it is to learn to slow down before responding, especially if you are triggered toward an emotional response.

Brent Scholar, Scholar Consulting

Make Time to Network

Find your people. The Phoenix community is full of great networking and leadership groups. Explore them all and find which ones align closest with your goals and values. Having a network of peers who can support you regardless of your current work situation, is an invaluable resource. It just takes an investment of time to develop.

Adrian Jamieson, YNPN Phoenix

Remember You Are Responsible for Your Goals

While there may be many people that support you in your personal development, it is your responsibility to own it. Plan out what you want to accomplish and go for it!

Justin Folts, L.Keeley

Connect With Your Peers

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Everyone is just a kid at heart trying to take the next step in their development. Work is fun and all, but take the conversation to the next level by taking interest in your peer’s hobbies and life outside of work. This is where you will connect on a deeper level.

Always Be Yourself

As someone who is still fairly new to the industry, my one tip is to be yourself. I have found that it is much easier to build a long-lasting relationship when you are genuine and honest. The number one reason that people do business with other people is that they like them.

Crystal Pierce, CCS Presentation Systems

Prioritize Your Integrity

You can't put a price tag on integrity. Who you are when no one is watching matters. Do what you say you will do. Communicate effectively. Focus on the facts and, always, always, always, ask for what you need.

Brandie Hopwood, RestorationHQ

Be a Goal Setter

Don’t stop dreaming, work hard, and write down goals. Plan and take your time. A good foundation will take you a long way.

Frank Bowen, Cue Solutions

Learn How to Say No

As a young professional, you may feel pressure to take on a slew of projects, board member positions, and more to “prove yourself.” This is a lofty feat and a commendable aspiration; nonetheless, it can also be a recipe for burnout.

Pace yourself! There will be several opportunities that come your way throughout the entirety of your career. Take on projects that align with your goals and excite you. Most importantly, learn that it’s okay to say, “no, thanks” or “let’s plan for a future date.”

Desiree Cunningham, Markitors

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