20 Examples of Areas of Improvement for Professional Growth

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 November 2022

Published 7 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many professions have areas for development that might have an impact on how they operate. Knowing what and how you can improve can help you create a plan of action to address your deficiencies and become a better team player. Not only that, but it can also assist in your personal development and self-fulfilment journey. In this article, we discuss several core competencies and areas of improvement as well as how to enhance each.

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20 examples of areas of improvement

Professional development is essential because people who are challenged to succeed in a healthy way are more likely to be engaged and pleased with their work. With knowledge and resources on specific areas to improve on, employees are likely to perform better in their current jobs, progress in their career and accomplish specific objectives. Outlined below are 20 areas of improvement you can consider with suggestions for developing each:

1. Time management

People who can multitask, meet deadlines and manage their time well are often more productive at work. Good time management skills may also make employment less stressful, giving you more time to focus on initiatives and professional development possibilities that you're interested in. You can enhance your time management by making to-do lists, utilising free scheduling software, employing task-tracking systems, creating digital reminders and closely maintaining a daily or weekly plan. Be mindful to keep track of your time and assess if your calendar is optimal for your objectives.

2. Customer service

Good customer service can have a significant impact on your organisation's reputation and ability to attract repeat customers. Customer service is an important skill to have in every career, even if you don't deal directly with clients. To improve your customer service skills, you can shadow and emulate a colleague renowned for providing outstanding customer service, ask a colleague to practise customer interactions or explain how to handle difficult circumstances, enrol in online service training classes or engage with a customer service coach.

3. Teamwork

Teams that work effectively together may achieve goals and solve issues more quickly, easily and frequently better than individuals working alone. Working well in a group may also diversify decisions and workflows, making procedures run more smoothly and enhance the product or service's outcomes. You can cultivate your teamwork abilities by enhancing your interpersonal and communication skills, acknowledging your colleagues' contributions, arranging regular team outings and celebrating team accomplishments.

4. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills entail the ability to successfully communicate and engage with others and may help you connect with colleagues and consumers alike. Interpersonal abilities can help you grow into a better team player and provide better customer service. To further enhance your interpersonal skills, you may practise qualities like empathy and active listening, try to become more aware of your body language and observe and learn from other people's interpersonal interactions.

5. Communication

Excellent communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal, are essential to help you in becoming more productive. You can cultivate your communication skills by talking to coworkers face-to-face whenever feasible, listening carefully when they speak and asking questions. If necessary, practise what you're going to say before saying it.

6. Writing skills

Professional growth necessitates the improvement of written communication abilities. Many professions need some amount of writing, whether your team is responsible for briefings, proposals, presentations, analysis or contact with colleagues or customers. You can improve your writing skills by studying your organisation's communication style guide, installing a grammar and spelling checker and asking your coworker or supervisor for feedback.

Related: Writing Skills: Definition, Types and How to Improve Them

7. Accepting feedback

While embracing and taking constructive feedback requires skill, it may help you make better decisions and perform better. To better accept feedback, you can practise listening and ask how you can improve further, keep a calm attitude and adopt a “matter-of-fact” approach rather than feeling discouraged. Always thank the individual who provided you with feedback, even if you disagree with their perspective.

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8. Flexibility

Your team members may find it simpler to adjust to change and take on additional duties if you retain greater flexibility at work. You can be more flexible by demonstrating your readiness to take on various responsibilities. Demonstrate curiosity in acquiring new abilities and try staying cool when plans alter unexpectedly.

9. Problem-solving

Excellent problem-solving abilities may assist you in identifying an issue, assessing the available choices, selecting the best solution and implementing it. Problem-solving abilities may also aid in the resolution of workplace disputes, the resolution of project obstacles and the discovery of novel approaches to achieve goals. After encountering difficulty, consider how you could have handled it better and make a note for the next time. Maintain your cool and work with others, depending on individuals who may have abilities that you lack.

10. Leadership

Strong leadership abilities may assist you in achieving goals, resolving difficulties and communicating with project partners. Individual contributors can also benefit from developing leadership abilities to manage initiatives and cooperate with others toward a shared objective. Hone your leadership skills by extending your leadership outside of the workplace by participating in team-building exercises or volunteering. You may also enrol in leadership courses and learn from the leaders at your organisation.

11. Setting goals

Goals may inspire you while also assisting you in focusing and prioritising activities. To set goals more effectively, always establish and meet project completion deadlines. Set a clear objective for yourself and determine metrics to measure your performance. Be mindful to set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.

12. Conflict resolution

Managing workplace disagreements, regardless of whether you're involved, may help prevent unpleasant work conditions, stress and a lack of productivity. To resolve conflicts more effectively, always try to remain calm and control your emotions. In these instances, clear communication is essential. Pay attention to what the other person says so that you can understand both perspectives. Once you've identified the source of the issue, you may utilise communication and problem-solving skills to address it.

Related: How To Deal With a Difficult Boss

13. Listening

Active listening is an essential ability for leaders, collaborators and communicators. Listening to colleagues, bosses and clients may help you convey and receive essential information more efficiently. To hone your listening skills, eliminate distractions when you're interacting with others, make eye contact with them, use open and pleasant body language and pose questions to clarify ideas.

14. Patience

It can be tough to maintain patience in a fast-paced, deadline-driven professional atmosphere. Patience, however, may help you manage obstacles, make wise judgments, prevent mistakes and keep your stress levels low. To become more patient, learn to maintain your cool when anything disrupts your workflow or when making critical judgements. This may need pausing, taking deep breaths or taking a short break.

15. Honesty

Working together to establish a successful team that trusts each other requires honesty in the workplace. It's also an excellent method for your team members to establish a trustworthy and professional reputation, which may lead to solid and long-lasting work connections. To build your integrity and demonstrate honesty, always keep your commitment when you say you're going to do something. Accept responsibility when you make mistakes and always be truthful in all you say and do.

16. Proving impact

Tracking and conveying the effect of your work is critical to the success of yourself and the organisation. To prove your impact, establish specific targets that are in line with important company objectives. Work with management to determine company priorities and adapt your time management accordingly. Track your progress toward targets and clearly explain your accomplishments to your boss during performance evaluations.

17. Critical thinking

You may generate meaningful ideas by thinking carefully about the requirements of the business, your clients and your products. Critical thinking is also an important talent for problem-solving, assisting individuals in achieving corporate objectives through creative ideas. To be more critical in your thinking, learn more about an issue by meeting with several people to gather different perspectives.

18. Proactiveness

Taking action before being asked is an excellent approach to demonstrate leadership and decision-making abilities. It also frees management from having to closely oversee those who can demonstrate responsibility for their own job. To be more proactive, think about what information stakeholders may need and provide it before they request it. Pay attention to work routines so that you can anticipate the requirements of the individuals with whom you work.

19. Organisation

People with good organisational skills can be more productive, focused and efficient at work. Your well-organised team members most likely may be able to complete assignments on time and with less stress. To be more organised, you can try to make a daily schedule outlining everything to do and in what sequence. Maintain a tidy work environment to prevent misplacing documents or to-do lists among stacks of material.

20. Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. Building persistence over time may assist your team members to maintain morale when dealing with issues, whether they be with coworkers, clients or a lack of resources. To build perseverance, it's essential that you take a minute to assess the circumstance when confronted with a difficulty. Maintain a cool manner, take the time to discover the origins of the problem and try to come up with feasible solutions. Try to always remain optimistic.

Related: 20 Positive Traits To Demonstrate in the Workplace

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