How Are You Taking Ownership of Your Professional Development Growth?Jun 15, 2022
Professionals are more relevant than ever, and those of us who have been through a variety of experiences understand this: As the value of our profession increases, we must remain at its forefront. How do we do this? By maintaining our level of education and knowledge so that we can contribute to the new demands of our profession. The professional world has even more significance than ever, and while we don't know what the future holds, we can assess our environments and decide what could be next for us so we can review our standards.
With this in mind, it is important to avail ourselves of all the opportunities for remaining professionally relevant. How else would we influence how we contribute to elevating our industry, promote its engagement, and add value, all while staying grounded? Here are a few key items to consider:
Remind yourself of the professional development tools that are available to you. Tools such as certificates focused on learning, certification that include a credential, college programs, internships, on-the-job opportunities, mentorship, conferences, webinars and other (virtual) options are all great ways Professionals can continue to grow. Do your research so that you can select the tool that will best help you in your career.
There’s tremendous power in taking responsibility for your career. The reality is, it is no one’s job but yours to decide on the future of your career. For that to happen, decide that you will make a change for yourself. Once you make this decision, you will appreciate the options that are available and you are more likely to do well, impress your leadership, and create new opportunities for yourself. Simply put - it starts with you!
To develop yourself professionally there are a few things you should consider in order to simplify this process for yourself. Set the tone to make learning new skills a positive experience. How? Set up your environment so that it is conducive to learning. Need to prioritize your life? Do so, it is worth the investment for a short-term. A few months of lack of distractions will pay off immensely down the road. Need a coach or tutor? Find someone who is interested in mentoring you in your studies, if that will help you succeed, for example. Work better with others? Find those who, just like you, have a growth mindset. Being surrounded by those who are looking to evolve is a great way to feel supported. Is cost a concern? Ask your organization for support, apply for tuition assistance or start saving toward your future now. Commit! Unless you choose to be completely dedicated to your goals, the journey may prove difficult. Think of other best practices you can engage in to give yourself the best chances for success.
While you prepare yourself by learning new skills, think about the next logical step to reaching your goals. Take small steps toward them so that you do not overwhelm yourself. You can do it, simply get started now. Then think about how you will leverage your new skill for the long-term future. Keeping in mind how this will help you achieve your goals is key so that you are not learning aimlessly, if there is such a thing!
The bigger picture
It is important to recognize that professional development is beneficial to both the self and the industry you belong to. Outside of your own growth and impact on your professional confidence, remember that by investing in yourself, you are essentially investing in your industry and contributing to the relevance of your work on a mass, industry-level scale. You are also impacting the culture of your organization as you may inspire others to contribute to its learning culture and to improve their growth mindset as you are making a measurable impact.
Taking on these great opportunities strategically demonstrates our commitment to our work and impacts the reputation and brand of our profession. They help us prepare for development initiatives as well as new and exciting projects in the corporate and adult learning marketplace. It also evokes a renewed interest in how professionals can bridge the gap from where they are now, to where they want to be as they evolve in their careers. This is important as it will help expand their minds in coming up with new opportunities and ideas to help the people they serve professionally. In addition, this is a great way to maintain credibility. So, now that you are equipped with this knowledge reminder, how will you choose to remain relevant for the sake of your industry?
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