We live in a fast-paced world. Where you need to constantly learn new skills and keep up with trends. If you stop for even a minute, you become old news, while a another more knowledgeable individual soars ahead. Now, more than ever, investing in professional development is the best way to ensure that you’ll continue to grow and move forward in your career. But how exactly should you go about it? Here are a few ideas.
- Formal learning This includes degrees, diplomas, internships or apprenticeships. This style of learning is great for complex ideas and practices and specialising in one area of expertise. Despite some companies relaxing their stance, many still require a degree in a relevant field.
- Take a short or online course While it can be difficult to find the time to follow a formal learning program; online courses or short courses tend to be a lot more flexible. This makes them a convenient option for working professionals. Short courses can be an effective way to address the gaps in your experience, preparing you for the next opportunity.
- Use the power of social media Technology has made networking easier than ever before, so cultivate a strong online community of people you respect and admire. Listen to what they have to say and engage with them. There are many online communities dedicated to niche topics and skill sets, get social.
- Mentor someone or be mentored Mentoring allows you to learn directly from people who’ve experienced many of the same challenges you might be facing. Don’t underestimate how beneficial it can be to mentor someone else if you approach the relationship with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
- Reading (professional journals, books, research papers, articles) Schedule time each week to dedicate to reading, not just news relating to your industry but a diverse reading list. Make this part of your weekly routine and never miss it.
- Podcasts Podcasts are one of the most popular tools for learning and personal growth. Listen during your commute and maximise your day. Subscribe to relevant and well-known people that have a great reputation in your field. Check this list out to start with: https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-careerboosting-podcasts-youre-going-to-love-listening-to
- Attend conferences Attending conferences will give you a chance learn about the latest developments in your field and keep your skills and knowledge up to date. It can also be a great way to meet and exchange ideas with other professionals in your industry
There are many reasons to continue to invest in your own professional development. Outside of skill acquisition, there is evidence to suggest a link between learning and health. Think of it as exercise for the brain. Additionally, the interactive nature of learning can help to stimulate questions and provoke new ways to think about concepts that can be applied to a new or existing job.
Whether your aim is to climb the career ladder, diversify your skill set or specialise in a particular field, you cannot put a price on your investment in yourself.
If you would like to have a conversation with a specialist recruiter who can help you identify how you can propel your career forward please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org