Professional growth is something that most of us strive for. It’s one of the many things that we use to measure our quality of life, our contribution as individuals, and our personal legacy as it pertains to every aspect of who we are and what we do. However, this is a journey that’s never complete. As we move along our career path, we look at the many different steps that we might take as individuals to help move our careers forward. We speculate about what it takes to get ahead, and what we have to do to become a more complete professional.
This week’s LP Magazine Instant Poll Question asked, In general terms, what do you feel is the number one factor that holds back most loss prevention professionals from reaching their career goals?
A personal growth plan for professional development and personal improvement should include a renewed understanding and focus on our skills and strengths. But there are many different factors that come into play as we put together our plan. In the process we should never underestimate the value and importance of developing our skills, improving our productivity, looking for new and creative ways to perform, and striving for professional excellence. But these are never the sole factors in building a career. Talent is never the lone driver in our quest to reach the pinnacle of our professional aspirations.>
This week’s poll results show that our respondents feel that all of these factors can have a direct bearing on our professional aspirations. Some respondents shared passionate reverence as they weighed the importance of their personal choices and their professional growth.
There are many personal and economic factors that can come into play as we make decisions about our education and academic growth. The importance of family and work/life balance is a very personal as well as situational factor that can have substantial bearing on our choices. This will also influence our willingness to move or travel. Professional security and a fear of change is often much more of a factor than many realize until they are put in a position to make a change. Of course, there can be many other influences that can impact these decisions as well.
As life unfolds, plans change. Priorities are revised to fit different needs and personal agendas. And when we look at the infinite influences that impact the way that we live, work, and build a future, we must realize that for most of us these are truly reasons—and not excuses. As we mature as individuals as well as professionals we will continue to make decisions that will have a direct and lasting impact on our personal and professional direction, and we have to make choices that we feel are best for each of us.
What’s most important is that we make informed decisions. We have to think through the many different factors that come into play and really consider how these factors may impact our lives. For example, change can be a daunting proposition for all of us. But if there is truly one constant in our lives, it’s that things are going to change. Companies change direction. Some companies fail. Departments adapt new approaches. Positions are re-defined, while others are eliminated…There is a continuous evolution of the retail experience, and it influences every one of us in some way. If a fear of change is holding you back, you may want to reconsider your way of thinking.
Every career is built on the decisions that lead us in a particular direction. When it comes to many of these factors there are no right or wrong choices—only those that are best for each of us as individuals. Understanding our personal and professional hurdles can give us a better perspective, make us better at what we do, and help us make more informed decisions as we move forward.
Productivity, creativity, excellence, and happiness are closely correlated with using one’s unique vision of personal and professional success. Recognize all of the different factors that will come into play in your decision making process, and find the balance that works best for you.