People & Inspiration

Executips: Aligning Personal Growth with Professional Growth

Executips: Aligning Personal Growth with Professional Growth

Q: People talk about professional growth all the time, but how important is someone's personal growth in a work place? What if you believe you have a good job that you like but you're personally conflicted about not being able to do anything substantial enough to contribute positively to what truly matters? Is there a way to address this or something that you just hope to get better eventually?


A: In an ideal situation, personal growth comes with professional growth.

The workplace compels us to value excellence, teamwork, honesty, self-sacrifice and many other virtues. Even the frustrations and irritations teach us patience, understanding, and perseverance among many other positive things.

I really believe that work teaches us character and makes us become better persons.

If you have a job that you truly like, you will spend each day at work experiencing what leadership guru Stephen Covey listed as the most important things in life. These are to live, to learn, to love and be loved, and to leave a legacy.

But there are some people whose idea of personal growth comes from doing things or achieving things totally unrelated to their work. For example, I know a property management executive who wants to be great at photography and an advertising art director who is also a professional musician.

In the Franklin Covey seminar 5 Choices for Extraordinary Productivity, we are taught to manage our time so that we can attend to things that are important, not just those that are urgent.

The important things are often postponed because they don’t have a deadline. Not a lot of people make a strict timeline for their dreams like, for example, becoming a good painter or an excellent chef.  So, we are advised to consciously calendar the time we will devote to the important things…and we must protect such time like how we protect our money. That also means we have to drop or minimize the activities that waste our time.

Let us simplify our lives to get the most out of it.  


Executips is a career advice column by Robert Labayen. He was a former Managing Partner and Executive Creative Director in an advertising company. He eventually moved to the country's largest media network where his job involves inspiring people to be their best. He's also a writer, painter, and songwriter. If you have career woes or questions that you'd like to share, send them over to [email protected]


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