The importance of personal development in professional growth
The Sector > Provider > General News > The importance of personal development in professional growth

The importance of personal development in professional growth

by Freya Lucas

May 18, 2023

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals from across the Petit Early Learning Journey (ELJ) network recently shared their reflections on the role that their own personal development has played in their growth as professionals. 


“We often refer to children when discussing personal development within our sector,” a Petit spokesperson said, “however, as an employer, we equally value our people’s interests, beliefs, wellbeing and self-development.”


Personal development goals, the provider believes, can unlock creativity, and build more positive attitudes when it comes to work, driving enthusiasm, boosting motivation, and helping employees to learn and grow. 


“Professional development relates to our roles and our professional identity or brand,” shared Petit ELJ’s People and Culture Operations Manager Melissa Hart. 


“Developing and growing as a professional is often through gaining experience or building your technical knowledge and skills, while personal development is about our own growth.”


“Personal development starts from a place of self-awareness and vulnerability, which means we are focused on becoming better people within ourselves and our family and community circles.”


Oftentimes, she continued, personal development is needed in order to build and grow as an individual, before professional development can be truly effective. 


“We need to know who we are before we can focus on what we want to be when we grow up,” Ms Hart said.


“Personal development sets a solid foundation for us to grow and become our best selves.”


Partnering with professionals to drive growth


For the first half of 2023, Petit ELJ is working with Phoenix Support for Educators, adopting a wellbeing and personal development focus. 


Using the Phoenix Cups, team members are learning more about how they fill their own personal cups and how they can, in turn, fill the cups of colleagues and children.


In addition to professional development sessions, the teams have access to coaching and support from the Phoenix Support team, and in June will undertake a 28-day wellbeing challenge which will be focused on how they fill their cups as a team.


During the second half of 2023, the Petit ELJ team will partner with Dr Kayleen Henderson to help focus professional development with the whole organisation tapping into her mini-masterclass series to grow as professionals.


Personal development stories


For Educational Leader Bao Huynh from Petit ELJ Burleigh, part of the personal development journey in 2023 has been identifying the need for a better work/life balance. 


In order to juggle study and work, Ms Huynh has been able to move to a flexible work arrangement, something which is also helping educator Hannah Sanders from Petit ELJ Pimpama, who is studying her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. 


“I put in a lot of self-work outside of Petit ELJ, which involves affirmations, meditation and journalling,” Ms Sanders shared. 


“I am involving my children in these practices as I believe how we speak about ourselves goes hand in hand with how we speak and treat others.”


For Acting Assistant Centre Director and Educational Leader Letitia Da Silva from Petit ELJ Marian, working with Petit for the last six years has been something which has been “a big factor in my personal development, not only in my workplace but outside of work”.


“I have grown in so many areas. I have learnt to be confident in the decisions that I make and know that my opinion is heard. I have learnt that communication is so important in life, at work and home, and from this, I have built genuine friendships within my social life and work life.”


“Being a part of the Petit ELJ community has made me more self-aware of who I am as a person and it has taught me to listen and understand that everyone is different and all opinions and views are valid.”


“I have learnt that time management is essential not only at work but in my home life. Setting challenges for myself has given me a different outlook on what I can achieve. I have learnt that if you put time and effort into things that are important to you, you will see results.”

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