Why Professional Development is Important
With many people entering the job market throughout the pandemic, the workforce has become increasingly competitive. With the enhancements in technology and accessibility, professional development and lifelong learning are critical for new and experienced professionals to brush up on their current skills or to develop new ones.
Professional development refers to continuing education and career training to improve skills, remain knowledgeable on industry best practices, or advance one’s career. There are many types of professional development opportunities that you can participate in depending on your personal and professional career goals.
Here are three benefits of professional development and how you can get started today:
Expand your Knowledge Base and Keep Up with Industry Trends
With the many resources available online, there are numerous ways to increase expertise in the field and learn new practices and techniques.
- Read an industry-related book.
- Subscribe to email newsletters so you can get industry updates weekly.
- Watch webinars/online content presented by subject matter experts.
Boost Confidence and Credibility
In order to feel confident in one’s career, it is important to constantly enhance knowledge, skills and abilities.
- Obtain a certification, license, or professional designation. Many fields often require professionals to maintain their credentials through professional development opportunities such as recertification, continuing education, attending conferences, facilitating workshops, etc.
- Acquire new skills related to the industry. Training can open the door to a new career or increase potential earnings.
Networking is a great way to meet industry experts and like-minded professionals. If you are interested in advancing in your career or making a complete career change, expand and foster your professional relationships.
- Attend a professional conference/workshop.
- Join a professional membership organization.
- Seek a mentor or job shadow a colleague.
No one can be successful without the constant need to learn or refresh their skill set. Whether it is improving technical skills, such as knowledge of programming languages, design programs, mechanical equipment, tools, etc., or expanding on interpersonal and communication skills, professionals should always be evolving and taking advantage of professional development opportunities.
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About the Author
Ashley Colquhoun ’12, SHRM-CP is a human resources management and event services professional with a background in HR generalist affairs, including employee recruitment and retention, staff development and employee relations.
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