Professional vs Personal Development

Professional vs Personal Development

Professional vs Personal Development

What is the difference between personal and professional development? Simply put, professional development is focused on the workplace. It's the development of skills in relation to your job to help you keep more effective in the workplace. Personal development is more focused on communications, time management, and things such as leadership training.

Confused? Don't worry. We've outlined a few skills with some information to elaborate on which categories they fall into. This will help you to better understand the differences between personal and professional development.

So which are you putting more time into developing?

1. IT training

it training

This one is easy. IT training won't help you much personally unless computers are your hobby. Professionally speaking, however, it is quite important. IT changes as technology progresses quickly and you have to keep your skills up to date. This is a concrete example of professional development.

2. Communication


This one is more on the lines of personal development. While it can help you in the workplace, communication is more of a generalized skill that you use daily and not just in the workplace. Development of it is paramount as it ensures that other people understand you and allow you to effectively exchange information without too much being lost in translation.

3. Conflict Management

conflict management

This is more of a personal skill. It will help you in the workplace, but it is not something that you would be strictly using there. Proper conflict management is a necessity in life as things seldom go the way we plan. Poor conflict management skills can lead to you losing your temper and consequently losing your job or getting kicked out of public places. How you deal with a problem is important, so don't neglect this personal skill.

4. Management Training

management training

This is definitely professional development. Learning to manage work resources and the team of which you are in charge, is a valuable experience and relates to your professional life. While there are other times when you can use such skills, this is primarily an area of expertise that will be associated with your professional life.

5. Keeping a Journal

keeping a journal

This follows under personal development. While keeping a journal can also be applied to workplace situations, such as analyzing your actions, for the most part, it is going to relate to your personal life. Having a place to keep your thoughts and observations helps you to become more self-aware and as such can be an invaluable tool for personal development.

6. Accountancy


This one falls in the middle. Number crunching is something that you can use in the workplace, but it is also very useful at home. Being able to set a budget for yourself or for a project is useful in your personal life and your professional life.

We hope that these examples help to clarify the differences between personal and professional development. Professional development is workplace related and personal development involves skills that you will be using most out of the workplace. Be sure to give attention to both forms of development to help ensure your success and overall development in the years to come.