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Why Professional Development Is Something You Need To Care About

Mick Pacholli
Mick Pachollihttps://www.tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

Introduction

The world today is constantly changing and becoming more competitive. Every professional should appreciate the importance of continuous learning and developing oneself throughout their career. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to succeed in your chosen path. Whether they are doctors, CEOs, IT experts, engineers, or lawyers, a professional’s journey never stops once they graduate. 

It only begins after graduation. It starts with learning, staying up-to-date with trends and changes in their careers, and honing skills to become a well-rounded, capable professional with hard and soft skills. Professional development is open to more than just the corporate world. Every part of society can take advantage of professional development training and benefits.

We will learn more about the aims of professional development, how to improve it, and different opportunities you can take to develop yourself professionally. So, keep reading to find out more!

Definition and Purpose of Professional Development

Generally speaking, professional development is a form of continuing education and training a worker, or a manager takes after entering the workforce. Many professionals have different reasons for pursuing professional development, such as learning new skills, staying up to industry trends, and preparing for promotion or a leadership role. 

Other fields, especially those that require licenses like medicine, engineering, and education, need professionals to continuously learn and take relevant training to renew their licenses or keep their certifications. However, professional development is more than just continuing education. It can also come in short courses you can complete in a few weeks or months or a one-on-one coaching session with an expert or industry leader. Any form of education that helps professionals hone their skills is professional development.

All in all, professional development aims to:

  • Boost confidence and credibility
  • Teach new skills and improve existing ones
  • Increase efficiency and productivity
  • Establish networks
  • Prepare for promotion
  • Increase your worth as a professional

For employers, the advantages of professional development are massive. These benefits include:

  • Attracting new talent
  • Higher employee retention
  • Easier succession planning
  • Increase employee morale
  • Make employees more competent 
  • Setting better direction for the company

For these reasons and advantages, employers and employees actively try to find professional development opportunities within and outside their organizations. Professional development allows workers to acquire new knowledge and skills to help them perform their job better and advance their careers. 

Improving Professional Development

Finding time is the biggest challenge you would face in searching for professional development. A typical employee or manager spends eight to ten hours at work. Sometimes, it could even be more depending on the profession someone practices. That leaves little to no time for professional development. And to add salt to the injury, not all organizations offer opportunities for their employees and managers to grow professionally. 

So the initiative to pursue professional development would depend on you. The good news is that professional development isn’t difficult to attain, thanks to technology and the Internet. If you have what it takes to become a better professional, you can develop yourself professionally by following these tips:

Set goals and objectives: Many professionals, employees, and managers don’t pursue professional development because they are either content with their current status or believe they already have the skills to perform the job. So finding professional development involves developing a strong sense of purpose and drive. Before embarking on a journey to professional development, ask yourself why you want to develop yourself further. When setting your goals, follow the SMART criteria. List the skills you want to learn and set your direction in the next few years. 

Create a schedule: Finding a reason to achieve professional development may seem difficult. But allotting time for it is more complex, primarily if you work in a demanding industry that consumes a lot of time and energy. However, this should never stop you from developing professionally. Identify what obstacles prevent you from pursuing professional development. Build a schedule that will work best for you. Professional development doesn’t have to take up hours of your life, especially now that you can take bite-sized courses to achieve it. What’s more important is to stay consistent and follow the schedule you’ve set religiously. 

Develop learning habits: Having the motivation to take professional development is excellent. Yet you should never rely on motivation alone to reach your goals since it can run low or high depending on several factors. Instead, it’s best to develop your learning habits so that you wouldn’t lose track of your progress. Develop a learning routine and stick to it. 

Find your learning style and preferences: Everyone has their preferred learning style. Some professionals like taking classes and interacting with other professionals during these sessions. Others prefer watching videos on their own. Determine your learning style first before taking professional development courses. 

Different Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development opportunities are everywhere. If the organization you work for doesn’t offer chances for you to grow as a professional, it shouldn’t be a dead end for you. You can pursue professional development independently, even if your industry doesn’t require it. There are many ways to obtain new knowledge related to your profession or industry. 

Some schools offer short online courses you can take through a smartphone app or website during your free time. You can also attend workshops, conferences, and seminars to build networks with fellow professionals, engage in activities, and join in question-and-answer portions. Sometimes the best way to learn something is to teach it, so if your organization presents an opportunity where you can mentor a colleague or subordinate, don’t hesitate to take it. 

Finally, reading books or listening to podcasts can contribute to your professional development. No matter what industry you’re in, you can find any book or podcast that can bring you up-to-date knowledge and trends in your profession. You can even ask your colleagues or managers what books to read to expand your understanding of your work. 

Conclusion

Professional development not only benefits the top brass of a big corporation. It also gives advantages to owners of small businesses, professionals like doctors and lawyers, freelancers, and public servants. With professional development, employees become competent workers and future leaders. It also empowers employers to lead their organizations to great heights. Professional development helps retain employees in the long run and equips them with the skills to become managers and executives. 

Professional development comes in various forms, from seminars and meetings to certifications and coaching sessions. It’s even possible to continuously learn by mentoring and taking online courses related to your profession. But no matter the type, professional development brings out the best in you. 

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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