Career and Personal Development Evolves Over Time

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the simple definition of development as

  • the act or process of growing or causing something to grow or become larger or more advanced.
  • the act or process of creating something over a period of time.

You too, will grow and become more advanced over a period of time and as you do you will be asked to make decisions that pertain to your personal development and career development. Every teen and adult is expected to be able to make important academic and career decisions throughout their lives, the kind of decisions that will have a significant impact on the overall quality and level of satisfaction of their life.

For a variety of reasons, most people are never really taught or even interested in learning how to make effective life-impacting academic and career decisions. For decades in our society it’s been assumed that people will just be able to make those kind of decisions when the time comes. So often those decisions end of being made hastily without much advanced preparation. It’s important for people to understand that making important academic and career decisions isn’t like solving problems that they watch during a TV program that can be solved in 60 minutes with four commercial breaks.

A person’s career development and personal development both involve processes that evolve over time and become more advanced as an individual matures and their interests and abilities become better defined. That usually occurs following a gradual advancement of growth through a series of progressive activities that take place in a person’s life. 

Personal development is a significant component of the overall career development process that evolves throughout a person’s teen and adult years. It is important to commit time and energy to completing a number of recommended developmental activities each year. A list of these tasks can be found in the Be Life Ready guidebook available online. By completing the suggested activities, you will acquire valuable information about yourself and the world of work which you’ll need before finalizing your academic and career choices. Since tasks are developmental you may want to repeat some of them in multiple years as they become appropriate to you.

If you are a teen start early in middle school and continue developing your personal skills throughout high school. Adults will find that the majority of recommended activities will be helpful and pertinent to them as well.

Making good academic and career choices definitely is something that should evolve over time in order to produce the best possible outcomes.

To Succeed Be Honest with Yourself When Choosing Academic and Career Options

When making your educational and career choices always be honest with yourself. What I mean is that just because you may have a strong interest in a particular major or occupation doesn’t always mean that you also have a parallel ability. Sometimes you may need to make compromises between wishes and realities and I don’t mean that in a negative or discouraging way.

If you expect to be successful academically you first need to strongly consider your academic abilities and your skill levels. By reviewing years of report cards and standardized test results you should be able to determine where your academic strengths and weaknesses are pretty easily. You need to make sure they match the required goals and expectations of the field of study you may be choosing to pursue.

Throughout my career working in a college environment I observed hundreds of students who entered college excited about and expecting to earn a particular degree. Unfortunately, many of them failed out because they chose majors that far exceeded their academic abilities. For example, don’t choose engineering if you haven’t succeeded in higher level math classes in high school because in the first semester of college you’ll need to pass Calculus and Physics courses. However, a better option for a student who hasn’t excelled in math but has above average math skills would be to enroll as an Engineering Technology major where Applied Calculus and Applied Physics classes, that have less theory and more hands-on applications, might be more manageable to pass.

It’s not to say that a person can’t enroll in remedial courses and with the proper effort and the help of faculty members and tutors be able to overcome their academic deficiencies but it takes time and a commitment to want to do so. The reality is that many students don’t figure that out in time nor are they mature enough to take advantage of all the support services that may be available to them which is a huge mistake and leads to failure.

Far too many students think that asking for help is a sign of weakness but instead they need to understand that getting help is actually a sign of maturity and commitment that indicates to others a desire for wanting to succeed. A word of advice is that a faculty member will always help any student who is seriously making a sincere effort to want to learn. That, my Be Life Ready friends, will often make a difference when it is time for a faculty member to submit a final grade. The student who is trying will always be thought of more favorably which could be the difference between receiving a passing grade or a failing one.

It is important to choose a major where you can experience success and hopefully prepare you for entrance into a job in your chosen field upon graduation. Also, once you gain experience and more knowledge you can always decide to pursue a higher level degree at a later time. You might think about finding an employer who will offer encouragement for you to advance your education as well as provide tuition reimbursement if you do.

Bottom line is you need to choose your majors wisely and realistically if you expect to succeed academically! Good luck.