What do you know about personal development? As an undergraduate or postgraduate, even an aspirant has to know getting admitted into the university is not the end of it, it’s just the beginning. The higher institution imparts the requirement of the course being studied without giving much space for diversification, although that is being tackled with the introduction of electives into the school curriculum. I saw a quote somewhere which goes thus; if the society trains you, you can be replaced but if you train yourself, you are irreplaceable. Hence, personal development.
According to Wikipedia, personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. I believe that no definition can be more apt than the one Wikipedia has given. This involves discovering yourself, knowing your strength and weaknesses, how you will fare under pressure, time management; this involves how well you manage your time without it affecting your primary assignment in school, emotional intelligence; how you manage your emotions, leadership skills, teamwork, and many others. Personal development makes you more knowledgeable in whatever area you have chosen to develop yourself in, increases your chances of landing a very lucrative job, can lead to a new career path if you want a change in career.
At this point, you must have been asking yourself how will you go about it? First, you have to determine the skill(s) you want to learn, let me state this here, acquiring skills is a major part of personal development in fact skill is synonymous to personal development. There are several forms of skills: Hard skills, soft skills, domain-specific skills, etc.
Examples of soft skills are:
- Good communication
- Teamwork, etc.
Soft skills are connected with attitude and are acquired by relating more with people, I will advise joining an association, occupying leadership positions in department, faculty or fellowship. Another way of gaining soft skills is via volunteering. Volunteer for outreaches, events and all.
Examples of hard skills are:
- Computer programming
- Web development and design
- Graphics design
- Data analysis
- Foreign languages
- SEO/SEM marketing
- Machine learning, etc.
Hard skills are teachable and learnable skills, it involves knowing the technical know-how of the particular skill being learnt. They can be taught in the classroom or you can learn on your own. Personal learning involves sourcing for necessary and helpful materials on the internet. Some platforms offer such services e.g. YouTube, this involves searching inputting the name of whatever you want, returns the search results so you can either watch or download it. You can use “save from net” to download from YouTube. Also, there are websites and mobile applications that offer online courses and give certificates too, these can either be free or paid. Examples of such platforms are:
Lastly, don’t forget to devour books, I mean read lots of books and stay informed.