I am seeing more emphasis on personal development. Not by companies, by individuals because it is a smart career investment.

You might think that the economy is having a negative effect on personal development. For some reason, it seems to be just the opposite.

It doesn’t matter if you are a job hunter or are working. It is a mind-set.

Here’s why.

  1. Career planning done early will give you a better chance to move up. Late bloomers who wait miss career-changing opportunities.
  2. Successful careers are built on specific skills and experiences. How confident are you in identifying the critical building blocks?
  3. When you take accountability for your personal development, you control it – what you do, when you do it and how you do it. Your development is portable, just like your 401K. Control means taking responsibility and holding yourself accountable.
  4. Job hunters who are finding employment realize that companies want to employ current and emerging skills. What differentiates you from the other candidates? When you can’t answer that, you know it is time to do something.
  5. Figuring out how to trump the job market competition requires strong interpersonal and interviewing skills. These skills may not have been critical when you were employed but now the situation requires you to be more competent.
  6. Personal development is a base requirement if you are exploring a minor to major career change. While you may have transferable skills, many employers still do not know how to recognize or value them.
  7. The financial investment may pinch you, but you know it is necessary for long-term personal career growth. As CEO of your career, you recognize that cutting development stifles professional growth and reduces your competitiveness.

The bottom line is employers are less likely to make an investment in your personal or professional development unless there is a direct payback. That’s right the focus is on return on investment (ROI).

Savvy career risers have made the link to ROI and personal development. It begs the question: what better investment is there than in yourself?