As we progress in our profession, we should remember that no one is born excellent at their job. Every successful person has spent a long time studying and refining their skills, taking advantage of professional development opportunities throughout their career.
Because the professional world is becoming more competitive and continuously evolving, professional development and continuous learning are more vital than ever in achieving success and career objectives.
What Is Professional Development And Growth?
Professional development is the continuation of education and career training after a person has entered the job to help them develop new skills, stay on current trends, and advance their career.
Many professions need professionals to engage in continuing education and ongoing learning, sometimes as a condition of keeping our work or maintaining our license, designation, or certification. In certain circumstances, the field’s continuing education (CE) or continuing professional education (CPE) requirements must be met through an approved continuing education provider.
Professional development and continuing education can refer to a wide range of relevant educational or training opportunities related to the professional’s career. Even when it is not required, many professionals who want to advance in their careers may seek professional development and learning opportunities independently.
What Are Examples Of Professional Growth?
Here are some examples that contribute to professional growth and development:
- Enrollment in formal degree programs, workshops, or courses
- Pursuing certificates, accreditations, or other credentials through educational programs
Participation In Professional Organizations
- Attending professional organizations’ local, regional, national, and worldwide meetings, conferences, and seminars
- Paper presentations at conferences and workshops
- Serving as an official, a member of a board, or a member of a committee
- Coordinating events sponsored by the organization
- Conducting research
- Presenting findings of research to others
What Can You Do To Promote Your Professional Growth And Development?
Here are a few ways how to promote professional growth:
1. New Projects Or Responsibility
Employers should allow us employees to take the initiative in developing our own possibilities. Allow us to “break things” for us to learn from our mistakes. It offers an excellent chance for learning, creativity, and professional development.
2. Knowledge Sharing
Organize monthly meetings in which we teach courses for workers to acquire a new skill and invite them to provide input on the topics. The training might focus on hard skills, such as advanced Excel tips, or soft skills, such as interpersonal communication.
It is an excellent chance to provide new challenges to employees and a “trial-and-error” time for learning a new skill or broadening our knowledge outside their existing comfort zone, department, or area of expertise.
3. Attend Industry Conferences/Events
Allow staff to attend industry events to learn best practices for their jobs. Because industries are always expanding and business develops rapidly, we must stay current on the newest research, information, tools, and so on to be relevant and at the top of our game.
These activities will promote career growth and will give us the skills we need to succeed. Training programs will also help us to expand our knowledge and abilities.
We should take time each week to read industry publications (magazines, websites, etc.), join professional groups that cater to other experts in our industry, and attend trade events or lectures that allow us to learn even more than we currently know.
Professional Growth Strategies
1. Find A Mentor
According to a survey conducted by the American Society for Training and Growth, 75% of executives believe mentoring is important in their career development. Mentoring is frequently considered one of the most certain ways for an individual to learn new skills, move into a new job, grow in their career, and achieve professional growth goals.
2. Ask For More Responsibility
Some of us believe that our supervisor or manager will know when we have earned a promotion or are ready for more responsibility. However, if we want to advance in our careers, we must occasionally be our own advocates.
Rather than waiting for our employer to give us extra responsibilities, we should actively seek opportunities to take on more obligations, particularly those that will allow us to develop new skills or exercise our leadership muscles. This practice can also lead to personal development since we practice things we often do.
3. Further Your Education
Whether we want to grow in our current organization, shift to a new job, or work in a whole different field, continuing our education is one option that may help us get there.
Continuing our education provides a systematic path for learning the skills required for success. It also shows companies (and future employers) that we are lifelong learners who value self-improvement and may even assist us in keeping up with the shifting needs of our changing economy.
Why Is Professional Growth And Development Important?
The fact is that many people do not invest in professional growth. One-third of employees claim they don’t do anything to develop or update their current skill set. These people are unconcerned about their future careers and don’t care about career development.
By investing in professional development, continuing education, and career planning, we’ve already gotten a step ahead of one-third of our peers. Because we’re going for it and taking charge of our career, we are far more likely to succeed and fulfill our objectives.
Those people who invest in their personal and professional development often benefit from new advancement opportunities, better project management, higher salaries, and increased overall career satisfaction.
When we acquire the skills that companies need, we will find ourselves in high demand, giving us a significant advantage in our career success. Professional growth doesn’t only enhance our careers but also our personal life.
Professional development should not be considered a chore that must be completed because our manager orders it. It is a chance for us to learn and develop. With a little effort, we can equip ourselves with information and abilities that can help our careers.
People thrive on growth and evolution, but the cost of these things is work. The greatest strategy is to be hungry for growth; the work will seem more like a delight than a duty.