Becoming successful in your career is something everyone wants. You want to be earning more money, having greater job satisfaction, and making a difference. However, to accomplish these goals, you need to be aware of the path your career is taking and develop your skills along with learning new ones. This is where professional development comes in, but what does it mean, and why is it important?
For those people that have left full-time education and are now in the workplace, there are still circumstances where you need to learn new skills or continue to develop existing ones. Many careers now require employees to stay up-to-date with trends and new practices, and this is classed as professional development. Some of the reasons for continued learning include:
Many of these courses and refresher sessions are delivered by approved education providers. You may also feel that additional development will help increase your performance at work or enable you to advance in your career. This type of development is usually voluntary and is arranged by the employee.
Many people don’t consider investing in their career development. It is thought that one-third of employees do nothing to improve their skillset and are not worried about their future career. One reason for this could be that they are happy in their current role and see no reason to learn any additional skills.
However, for those that want to develop their learning, this is a good factor. It means you are going to have a superior skill set than many others in the workplace. This will give you an advantage that you need to utilise if possible.
While many people will want to use personal development to build their skill set, there are others that will also benefit. Employers are looking for those who want to learn, and have the motivation to do so. If you can show an employer that you are working on your personal development then it will increase your value to them.
Your existing employer will be happy that you want to keep learning new skills, but it will also impress new employers. If you find that you can’t advance in your current career, then personal development will make it more likely for you to move to another job.
Another development plus is confidence in your own abilities. You will feel more comfortable in your existing role and have the confidence to aim for a higher position.
There are no specific ways that you can grow your skills, but you can find out which skills you need to learn. Firstly, you need to take a look at your career path and see if this is where you want to go. This could mean aiming to become a manager, or simply keeping up with your current role requirements. If you want to move to another career, then it is important to look at the skills you will need for that role. Any that you are lacking can then be found through one of many avenues.
These options depend on your career plan, of course. If you have created a plan that is sensible and has a realistic timeline, then you can easily choose which option is best for you. It is important, however, that you update your career plan when factors change.
Along with your career plan and searching for opportunities, there are also learning options that you should look out for. It is a good idea to look in all areas for learning opportunities as you might miss something that could have been a great benefit.
These are just some of the ways you can work on your professional development and take your career to the next level. Even if you later decide that you don’t want to advance your career, the opportunities and skills you gain will still be worth the effort.