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What Is Personal and Professional Development?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Personal and professional development typically refers to a single program in which people can focus not only on improving their professional skills but also on their personal lifestyle choices and abilities. This type of development is commonly offered for business professionals who work in management or at the executive level within a company. These positions often require long hours from such professionals and so development in one aspect of their lives often needs to be accompanied by development in other aspects. Personal and professional development typically teaches people how to organize their schedules and responsibilities and manage their lifestyle to be more successful and healthy individuals.

There are a number of different programs and courses offered to assist in personal and professional development, though they are typically designed for a similar purpose, which is to offer people development in both major aspects of their lives. Personal development on its own refers to a process someone takes to improves his or her personal life in a meaningful and significant way. This is typically done to help a person better organize his or her time and learn to handle stress and various forms of negativity in a way that is ultimately productive.

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Professional development, on the other hand, is intended as a method by which someone can learn to better handle his or her work life. This type of development is often intended to help a person learn to manage professional time to accomplish tasks when necessary and to delegate authority to others in a beneficial way. Leadership and management skills are often taught in this kind of development to ensure that a person is able to control his or her own professional life. Personal and professional development together incorporates both of these kinds of lessons into a single program.

The philosophy behind personal and professional development programs is typically that people should improve their lives in a more holistic manner. Rather than viewing his or her life as two types of experiences that exist exclusive of each other, a person should see his or her life as a single experience. Improvements in a person’s personal life can carry over into his or her professional life, as well as the opposite. By utilizing personal and professional development, people can better manage time in both aspects of their lives, and develop skills that allow them to be more effective managers as they take control of their personal lives.

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