15 Free Personal and Professional Development Resources

Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Milton Campbell

We live in an amazing age where you can find just about anything information-wise on the internet. Most of it we can find for free as long as you know where to look. Personal and professional development websites are no different. There are many personal and professional development resources out there that you can use for free.

Everybody wants to live a life of passion, purpose, and happiness. The internet has opened up a world of possibilities for us to learn and grow in ways we never could have imagined. Personal development online is a strong tool in your toolbox on your way to being the best version of yourself.

Personal and professional development consists of activities to improve on existing or learn new skill sets, develop talents, and be a more knowledgeable person.

What is Personal Development?

professional development resources

Personal development is the process of improving oneself through intentional learning and growth. It involves taking steps to enhance one’s skills, knowledge, and abilities in order to become a better version of oneself. Personal development can take many forms, including formal education, informal learning, and self-directed study.

One of the key aspects of personal development is the focus on skills enhancement. This can involve developing new skills or improving existing ones. For example, a person might focus on learning a new language, taking up a new hobby, or improving their public speaking skills. By enhancing their skills, individuals can improve their overall level of competence and effectiveness in their personal and professional lives.

Another aspect of personal development is the pursuit of knowledge. This can involve learning about a wide range of topics, from history and science to psychology and philosophy. By seeking out new knowledge, individuals can broaden their perspectives, gain new insights, and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Personal development can also involve self-reflection and self-awareness. This can involve taking time to reflect on one’s values, beliefs, and goals, and considering how these factors influence one’s behavior and decisions. By developing a greater sense of self-awareness, individuals can gain greater clarity about their strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas where they need to focus their personal development efforts.

Overall, personal development is about investing in oneself, both in terms of time and effort. By focusing on skills enhancement, knowledge acquisition, and self-reflection, individuals can improve their overall quality of life and achieve greater success in their personal and professional pursuits.

Personal Goals Examples

What is Professional Development?

Professional development is the process of improving one’s skills, knowledge, and abilities in a specific profession or industry. It is focused on enhancing one’s professional skills and expertise and is often undertaken with the goal of advancing one’s career or increasing one’s value in the workplace.

Professional development can take many forms, including attending conferences and workshops, taking courses and certifications, participating in mentorship programs, and pursuing advanced degrees or training. It is a continuous process that involves ongoing learning, growth, and self-improvement.

The focus of professional development is on developing the skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to one’s profession or industry. This can include technical skills such as programming, design, or project management, as well as soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork. By enhancing these skills, individuals can become more effective in their roles and better equipped to tackle the challenges of their profession.

Having a good professional development plan is important for success in the workplace. It involves setting goals and identifying areas where one needs to improve, and then taking steps to achieve those goals. By having a clear plan for professional development, individuals can stay focused and motivated, and make steady progress toward their career objectives.

In addition to benefiting individuals, professional development can also be beneficial for organizations. By investing in their employee’s professional development, companies can create a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce, improve employee morale and retention, and increase their competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Overall, professional development is a critical component of career success and ongoing learning. By continuously developing one’s skills and expertise, individuals can stay relevant and valuable in their profession, and achieve their career goals.

Professional Goals Examples

  • Get promoted at work.
  • Be more productive at work.
  • Communicate better to have your ideas heard.
  • Learn a new skill to get a new job.
  • Build your networking skills.
  • Become more knowledgeable in your job.

As you can see, many of these goals overlap. That is because personal and professional development is closely related.

Many of the activities you do to develop on a personal level help you develop professionally and vice versa. For example, taking a course on being a better communicator will help you both in your personal and professional life.

The Importance of Personal and Professional Development

Personal and professional growth are both important to grow as a person. The development makes you a better supervisor, manager, employee, mother, father, friend, or any other role you may take on in your life.

In fact, there are many benefits to pursuing personal and professional development. Not only does it make you a more valuable person, but it helps you see who you are. During personal and professional development, you see some strengths and flaws that you never knew you had.

Also, learning new skills and talents may give a whole new sense of direction. Too often people complain about hating their job or their life for whatever reason. But they don’t do anything about it. Self-development activities can help you find a whole new direction.

For instance, you can learn to become an Android app developer for free by utilizing resources on the internet. The internet is full of so many resources to teach us new things and aid us in becoming better people. All we have to do is know where to look.

What Type of Personal and Professional Development Website is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing a personal and professional development website, there are a few key factors to consider. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you determine what type of website might be right for you:

  1. What are your personal and career goals?
    Before you start looking for development websites, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve in your life and career. Are you looking to learn a new skill, advance in your current job, or make a career change? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can start looking for development websites that align with your objectives.
  2. What is your learning style?
    Everyone has a different learning style, so it’s important to choose a development website that caters to your preferred way of learning. Do you prefer to learn through reading, watching videos, or doing hands-on practice? Some websites offer a variety of learning formats, while others may specialize in one particular format.
  3. How much time do you have available?
    Some development websites require a significant time commitment, while others offer shorter, more focused learning modules. Consider how much time you have available to dedicate to your personal and professional development, and choose a website that fits your schedule.
  4. What is your budget?
    Development websites can vary widely in price, from free resources to expensive courses and certifications. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on your personal and professional development, and look for websites that fit within your budget.
  5. What is the reputation of the website?
    Before committing to a development website, do some research to learn about its reputation. Read reviews from other users, check the credentials of the instructors or authors, and look for any red flags that might indicate the website is not reputable.

Ultimately, the best personal and professional development website for you will depend on your unique goals, learning style, schedule, budget, and preferences. By taking the time to consider these factors, you can choose a website that will help you achieve your personal and professional development objectives.

Personal Development Coach

Life coaches are another great tool for personal and professional growth. They can help point you in the right direction of resources.

They also help you look into yourself and see your strengths and flaws. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is an important step in knowing what development opportunities to look for.

See Related: Is An Online Life Coach Right For You?

Personal and Professional Development Resources

Free Online Personal and Professional Development Course Websites

Image of a person working on a computer possibly on a personal or professional development site.

Online courses are a great way to build your skills and make you a more valuable person. You can do these self-development skills courses from the comfort of your own home. In fact, many of them you can do at your own pace. Below you’ll see a list of websites that offer many courses on various development topics for free.

Udemy has become one of the most popular universities in recent years. If you are online, chances are you have heard of this educational software. It is a self-paced online learning platform that allows you to user-based courses from instructors around the world.

Coursera is a website that partners with many universities and organizations from around the world. They provide top-notch paid and free personal and professional growth courses.

EdX is another great site offering free courses from many schools. EdX has courses covering a wide range of topics. This website is a great choice for reaching your personal growth goals.

Udacity is a site offering free and paid courses. They focus mainly on technology. It is a great resource for somebody trying to learn more about programming, data analysis, or topics like that.

Skillshare is a site that offers classes focused on building or learning new skills. The classes are taught by leaders in their industry.

Codecademy is a site focused on learning to code. They offer free courses, and it’s a learn-at-your-own-pace environment.

Free Blogs

Image of a person looking at a personal development blog on a computer.

Blogs can be a great place for personal and professional development without spending a dime. The only expense you spend is your time. If you are learning, then it’s well worth the investment of time to improve yourself. Check out some blogs below for great information.

Michael Hyatt is a successful influential leadership author that runs a personal development blog. For the most part, he focuses on areas like productivity, leadership, influence, and personal development. His blog is updated a few times a week with new articles. Some of his recent posts are “How to Be Resilient in Tough Times” and “Why Vision Matters in Crisis”. This can be a great resource to enhance your professional development efforts.

John C. Maxwell is a very well-known best-selling author that runs a very insightful personal and professional development blog on leadership and management. John certainly has a way of delivering his message in a way that is entertaining and informative. His recent posts were “Three Ways to Defeat Distraction in Times of Crisis” and “Don’t Waste This Crisis: FREE Maxwell Resources for Growth”.

Leo Babauta runs a very simplistic personal development blog called Zen Habits. His blog features articles on productivity, focus, and getting clarity of the mind. It’s obvious that his goal while writing is to make his readers better people. Some of his recent articles are “The Practice of Meticulous Attention” and “The Importance of Meditation in Crazy Times”.

Steven Aitchison runs a blog called Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. As a coach and NLP expert, he focuses on many topics about personal development. He also offers free e-books and some guided meditations on how to eliminate the negative thought patterns that limit us in our lives. His recent posts include “A Quick Way to Discover Your Personal Beliefs” and “10 Things You Should Drop From Your Life Starting Now”.

Anna Guest-Jelley has a blog called Curvy Yoga. Although her blog is advertised toward plus-size women, there are articles worth reading for anybody. If you want to get into better shape or be more knowledgeable about your body. She covers many health and fitness topics focused on yoga. Her recent articles are “Body neutrality is what body love looks like in everyday life” and “The Unexpected Ways Body Acceptance Simplified My Life”.

Of course, there’s also this blog that you’re reading right now. For more great articles check out my homepage here.

Free E-Book Personal and Professional Development Websites

Image of a person reading an eBook for personal growth.

E-Books are a great way to expand your knowledge and develop both personally and professionally. Many of these sites can be used on your cell phone or tablet, so you can read anywhere. Reading is an excellent way to spend time when you are waiting or before bed. If you enjoy reading, check out some links below for great places to read free e-books.

Project Gutenberg has a large collection of free public domain e-books available. Public domain e-books are available for free because their intellectual rights have expired. Many great classic books are available on this site. You may have to dig a little, but you can find some great personal and professional development resources.

Open Library is another source of free reading material, offering e-books and other texts to help with personal and professional growth. This site’s goal is to have a web page for every book ever published but not all of them are readable online. The readable ones have a read icon shown next to the title.

Google Books is another index of e-books, offering many free e-books for use. After opening the site search for a title you would like to read. When the search completes you can select tools, then free Google e-books to see if they offer a free version of that title.

Overdrive is a digital library where you can check out and borrow books for some time free. The use of this service does require a library card from your local library. But you can even sign up for those online with many libraries. Sometimes the digital copies are limited, so you may be put on a waiting list for certain books. This is still a great way to have access to new e-books free of charge.


Personal and professional development is a great way to spend your extra time. After all, with all these resources available for free, you have no excuse not to make yourself a better person. Personal and professional growth is what keeps us going. Therefore, it’s what keeps us moving up the ladder of life.

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