In any field there are opportunities for engaging in professional development in some shape or form. This might include taking part in an educational course, attending a short presentation/workshop, or going to a conference. I’ve been lucky enough to take part in all of these forms of professional development through Life Strategies. This has allowed me to not only further develop my skills but also keep me engaged in my work.
Educational courses can be the most time consuming option for professional development and may require time away from work. This might not always be an option and many would not dedicate their vacation to study. However, with online learning, correspondence/independent study, and/or night class options, it’s easier than ever to continue your education by working your studies in and around your work/life commitments.
There are a variety of reasons why an employer may host a presentation or workshop internally (e.g., to introduce new policies/procedures, to train workers on new technologies/practices, to strengthen team functioning) and workers may or may not be required to attend. Externally you can access an endless choice of topics – anything from improving your editing skills to managing conflict. Conferences are a great way to attend numerous presentations/workshops over the course of few days. They also provide invaluable networking opportunities for you to connect with others in your field.
Some organizations invest in professional development and others unfortunately do not. Professional development is a great way to not only ensure employees have the skills necessary to do the job but also to let them know that the company is willing to invest in them. If your organization offers professional development opportunities or funding for them I really encourage you to take advantage of this. Even without funding from your organization, developing your skills is a great way to keep engaged. Learning something new could help you perform your job better and maintain an energetic and enthusiastic approach to your work.
Originally posted June 25, 2009 by Cassie Saunders