As this year comes to an end and the New Year is upon us, many of us start planning for the future. We think about how we’d like to positively impact our health, reach new goals, and improve our lives in the upcoming year. As we start making resolutions and setting intentions for the New Year, I’d like to encourage you to add professional development to your list.
What is professional development anyway?
Typically, professional development refers to taking a course, attending a seminar, conference or workshop. But it can also include independent reading and research, listening to expert podcasts, or even learning from coworkers. Professional development goes by many names, including staff development, training, or continuing education.
Why is professional development necessary?
It’s never too early or late in your career to think about professional development. Investing in yourself is a great way to ensure both career and personal growth. During our hectic work weeks, it’s easy to push off additional training or learning in favor of more urgent tasks. So if advancing in your career and growing in your knowledge base is important to you, make a commitment to schedule professional development into your calendar. Do it now.
What are the benefits of professional developments?
Need a little more convincing? Here are a few of the benefits that you will experience when you start engaging in professional development:
Sets you up for success
Taking part in continuing education – whether through a conference, seminar, book, or podcast can help to expand your skill set and build upon the foundation of your career.
Expands your knowledge base
Participating in workshops, attending seminars, or even just picking up a book or tuning into a new podcast will expose you to different perspectives and new ideas. It will open your mind up to new ways of approaching problems or new ways of thinking through concerns and roadblocks.
Attending professional development events leads to meeting like-minded individuals, many of who can become supportive friends in the industry. Additionally, many of the instructors leading the events can become mentors and good options for seeking advice in the future.
As you attend new conferences, read new books, and learn new skills, you will naturally increase your expertise in your field. This builds confidence in the work you do and helps you feel great about your new skills.
Have you given some thought to investing in professional development in the new year?