Benefits: Professional Development
What are you doing to develop your skills?
We are all busy with work, family and our social activities; as a result, professional development is often neglected due to time constraints. If you are interested in developing your skills, but unsure of where to start, we recommend that first, you understand the benefits of professional development, then let those benefits guide you to the training that suites your needs. Here are Five Benefits of Professional Development to consider:
1) You can keep up with changing trends in your job.
Whether it is learning about new technologies, processes, work philosophies, or changing industry dynamics, taking a course or seminar to keep up with changes in your field will ensure that you remain competitive in your current job. If you don’t keep yourself up to date, you run the risk of being left behind by your peers. Some examples of this training include:
- A Quality Manager taking a seminar on six-sigma.
- A PR manager taking a course in social media marketing.
- A Human Resources Professional taking a workshop on healthcare changes.
2) You can learn new skills to align yourself with new job opportunities.
If you have the desire to do something other than what you are doing now, you need to be prepared for the next step in your career by getting trained before you seek out new opportunities. Here are some examples of training you would consider prior to going after a new job opportunity:
- Move into your first management position; take a seminar or certificate program for first time managers or supervisors.
- Move from a sales role into a product line manager position; Masters in Marketing, Seminar in Product Management.
- Move from accounting into finance; MS in Finance, MBA in Finance
- Move from a director position into a general management role; MBA, seminars and workshops for emerging leaders, general management certificate.
3) You can perfect current skills to set you apart from your co-workers.
If you want to be a standout employee that continues to prove they are motivated, showing better results and setting the bar higher for their team or workgroup, then you need to further your education by adding credentials and training to your resume that will bring immediate value to your current job. Here of some examples of specialized certification programs that will give you an edge while teaching you skills to lead in your job:
- Accounting = Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- Project Management = Project Management Professional (PMP Certification)
- Operations = Certified Supply Chain Specialist (CSC); Facility Management Professional (FMP)
- Human Resources = Senior Professional Human Resources Certification (SPHR)
- Quality – Six Sigma Certification
4) You can interact with others in your field to keep the door open for future opportunities.
By participating in trade associations and professional associations in your field you can make networking connections, as well as participate in valuable training programs, have access to job opportunities and keep up to date on industry & professional trends. Many of these associations have job boards and local and national events where you can meet prospective employers for future job opportunities.
5) You can open your mind to new perspectives, enhancing your job performance and earning potential.
The fifth Benefit of Professional Development is to focus on seminars, workshops, certificates and self-study books/magazines/DVD’s that are outside of your normal business discipline. Maybe take a workshop like Accounting for the non-accounting professional, get your MBA, which will allow you to gain understanding of all elements of your business, take a marketing for beginner’s class, or a workshop on innovation. Keep in mind these are not focused in your current job area, nor are they focused on a new job you are pursuing down the road. They are, simply put, areas that would open your mind to working better with the people around you, allowing you to communicate better with others and succeed because of it. Self-study is a great way to do this by taking the time to read some books for beginners, like Marketing for Dummies, Accounting 101, etc. The more well rounded you become, the more you will be able to communicate and get things done; achieving your objectives and performance milestones.
Written by Lisa Woods, President Lisa Woods Consulting & Founder of ManagingAmericans.com
Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.
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