Professional development is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, attending conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. It has been described as intensive and collaborative, ideally incorporating an evaluative stage. There are a variety of approaches to professional development, including consultation, coaching, communities of practice, lesson study, mentoring, reflective supervision and technical assistance.
I strongly care about professional development because I know the huge impact it has on you not only in your professional life, but in your personal life as well. I want to coach you through the various situations you face so you can feel confident to face whatever challenge comes your way.
6 Tips for Your Professional Development
Let’s talk about advancing your professional development, and how to do so continuously. Steps you can take to make noticeable changes in your professional life, which ultimately flows into all other areas of your life as well.
Below are best practices I have discovered to be helpful in propelling you on your journey.
Look in the mirror and assess your internal intelligence. There are plenty of tests and quizzes you can take that will give you insight into who you are, your mindset, what makes you tick, etc. Even some of the Buzzfeed quizzes can shed some light, though we wouldn’t put much stock into the credibility.
Self-assessments can benefit you because sometimes you are not aware of blinders that are in your way.
2) Genuine Feedback
Find a mentor or ask a trusted friend you know will give it to you straight. You don’t need sugar-coating.
3) Tangible Goals (hard skills)
What skills can you enhance that will make you an expert in your field? Excel spreadsheets, grammar, speech, and even attire; all of these are things you can physically make improvements on and see progression.
4) Intangible Goals (soft skills)
Goals that might not be so apparent are also important. These are called “soft skills” and they are just as important as hard skills. Below are some of the soft skills that are major game changers:
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Discipline and focus
- Public speaking
- Stress management/Emotional Intelligence
5) Reading & Podcasts
Knowledge is power.
Read anything you can get your hands on that will grow your mind and read for fun. You need both. Commit to this daily practice. Yes, daily. Even if it is only for 10 minutes. (Twitter does not count.)
Podcasts. This is free information sent to your ears, no hands required. Do this while driving, working out, cooking. You literally have nothing to lose.
Another great thing about the Internet, there are thousands of free courses to take. Ask others what they would recommend. Be in a continual state of learning and development.
Seminars are extraordinary to attend. Not only are you learning, but you are surrounded by individuals who are there for the same reason. The networking that can happen is invaluable.
Bottom line – grow, learn, develop.