Personal Development at Work

Being happy at work means growing as an individual. The funny thing is most of us don’t equate personal development with our jobs. We see them as separate entities that don’t belong together. I believe this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The reason why personal development and happiness at work are forever linked together is simple. The better we are at cultivating relationships and productivity, the more we enjoy our jobs.


Artists at Heart

We are all artists at heart. I watched a George Carlin interview over at 43 Folders. He talked about the importance of enjoying the various parts of writing, performing and promoting (marketing). He became successful when he began to understand who he was. In the earlier half to middle half of his career he thought that he should be an actor because everyone else was doing it. He hated it. Success came easier when he stopped trying to be something he wasn’t and figured out what really made him happy.

“Happiness is a continuation of happenings which are not resisted.”
– Deepak Chopra

By not forcing yourself to work hard (being a big bully) and allowing your desires to pull you like a giant work-happiness magnet to do great work, the pain (stress and worry) will be significantly reduced and success will happen.


Why It Works for Companies

Dwayne J. Clark, CEO of Aegis Living stopped reviewing sales numbers at his annual meeting and created a yearly inspirational meeting. He brought in spiritual, personal development, and relationship speakers (Deepak Chopra and Jack Canfield) to give back to his employees. Popular speakers cost over $80,000 for an hour’s time. They did this to show that they were serious about creating an atmosphere that would help people grow.

“From the day he launched Aegis with Bill Gallaher in 1997, Clark pledged to improve employees’ lives.”
–        Jim Berry of  Inc. Magazine (check out the whole article “Is it an annual meeting? Or an Episode of Oprah?”

Dwayne began to see a significant improvement with his employees. They were more compassionate toward each other. They were also willing to share personal problems with each other. He was able to create a community that supported each other.

The turnover rate at Aegis is 25% to 43% a year, compared to the industry standard of 70% to 120%.

By fostering personal development at your company, you can also promote better teamwork, happier employees, and of course improve the bottom line.


Your Career

When you take the time to develop your emotional intelligence and personal skills, you’ll reap the rewards at work. The better you understand your needs, the easier it is to fulfill them.

Next time you are caught in office politics, denied a raise or refused much needed appreciation, try to think of the situation as a chance to grow. Notice how it makes you feel and try to end the negative cycle and give appreciation to people you work with. Believe me, if you enjoy feeling a certain way then chances are they will too. You’ll probably notice that by taking the time to improve your happiness, your ability to be compassionate and your overall personal development skills, you will be able to enjoy your job even more.

I put a little resource list that I know you all will enjoy.


Three of my favorite personal development blogs are:

–        Steve Pavlina – Check out my Interview with Steve.

–        Positivity BlogHow to double your productivity (series)

–        Abundance BlogFive Stress-Busting Techniques for Busy People


Three of my favorite blogs on improving your career through knowing yourself:

–        Penelope TrunkHow to go to a meeting when you want to sit home and cry

–        Get Rich Slowly – JD doesn’t post many career based articles, but How Do You Turn Passion into a Career? (And Should You?) is fantastic.)

–        Delightful WorkAn Authentic Approach to Making More Money


Do you believe in personally improving yourself at your job? How do you bring more love, spirituality, and power into your working day?

If you enjoyed this post I have a good feeling you’ll like these:


Image courtesy of happeningfish


  1. Hi Karl,
    I’m all for improving myself in my job – and I think that takes on a couple of different role – things specifically related to the job you do or skills you need to have (the hard skills) and then all the other things that can help you be a better employee (management, personal growth, leadership – soft skills). They are both an important part of the picture. Spirituality is a tough one for me, in the workplace. Although, I do bring it in when they are people experiencing hardship (sickness, death, problems at home) – I don’t push my beliefs, but in times of need, will be more open about sharing them. Love comes from being open with coworkers, and in so doing – I think we find this leads to an increase in our power – because people can relate to us on a more personal level. While not always easy to integrate love and spirituality into our working day – there is great potential if done right…

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  2. Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome says:

    Big bully – that’s it. That’s why I haven’t been writing. I’ve been busy bullying myself into it and that never works – it just makes me start saying “no” more forcefully.

    Oooh, must go ponder this now.


    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome’s last blog post..The First Step is Getting Off the Floor: Naomi Dunford Interview

  3. Karl, I am a strong believer in processes than results. If we do the right process, than the result will be great as well.
    Your article is about process. If we can develop our personal at work, we will reap the rewards as you said.
    Great post, Karl.

    Arswino’s last blog post..Did You Know ?

  4. Allowing yourself to be pulled into what you enjoy and are naturally good at instead of pushing against what you think would be a good career choice – that’s a great way of putting it 🙂 And thank you for the mention.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Lateral Thinking: Think Out-of-the-Box

  5. Hi Lance, spirituality is a big part of my life too. The thing is other people don’t feel the same way. It’s tough to find a balance, but like all good relationships it’s about learning and adjusting.

    Hi Arswino, the results will come if we set ourself up with the right processes. I like your point. Need to remember that for a future post.

    Hi Alex, a lot of us can be big bullies to ourselves. We feel we can control by force when that’s the last thing we really want.

  6. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work says:

    Hey Karl – thanks for the link man. We’ve got to enjoy the whole process of self-employment if that’s our choice. That includes marketing, tech work and everything else that comes with it. Once I learned to look for the joy the wrestling was over. Good post. Let’s make it an outstanding year!

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Five Tools to Sharpen Your Authentic Edge