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11 Ways to Jump Start Your Professional Development Today

Posted by CLIMB Professional Development and Training on December 04, 2018

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Regardless of what field you are in, whether you hold a professional license, or continuing education is required for your profession, everyone benefits from professional development on a regular basis. 
Proactively completing formal learning and development demonstrates initiative to your manager, and if you are the manager, it sets a great example for your staff.

When there is an opportunity for a promotion, or a stretch assignment, leaders are more likely to select a staff person who has recently completed some professional development activities, rather than someone who is just waiting for their next opportunity to fall in their lap.  

To the employee - you may consider talking to your manager about including professional development in your annual performance goals, if they are not already required. It makes it easier to justify if there is a cost associated with your learning opportunity, and helps hold you and your manager accountable to achieving something every year. Your goal might focus on a specific activity (attend one regional conference), an amount of time (average one hour a week learning), or some other measurable outcome (identify a professional mentor).
 
Depending on your profession, you may need to select very specific learning activities. For example, in Oregon, tattoo artists have to complete five hours of classroom learning and five hours of self-study professional development activities every year to maintain their licenses. Or, you may want to focus on a more universal skill like effective communication. Regardless of how good you are in your field, improving your communication skills is always possible, and will benefit you both professionally, and personally. Whatever industry you are in, and whatever stage of your career, you will undoubtedly learn something that will help you be more effective. This could be no-cost to you if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement program.
 
Professional development activities can range widely in the cost, and time required. Here are 11 examples of professional development activities from no-cost to higher-cost:
  1. Complete a course in your employer's learning management system, or through a MOOC
  2. Ask a senior manager for a book recommendation, then listen to it on your commute
  3. Join a professional organization in your field
  4. Submit an article for publication in a trade magazine or newsletter that you subscribe to
  5. Reach out to a mentor to discuss your long-term career path  
  6. Deliver a training at your office, or through a professional organization
  7. Take a professional development class in-person or online at the community college 
  8. Attend a regional conference
  9. Participate in a multi-day training or industry certification course
  10. Earn a graduate certificate or Master's degree in your discipline
  11. Attend a national or international conference
So, why not become the one who receives the next promotion because of your recent proactive professional development efforts? Now is the time. Learn more about the opportunities offered by PCC's Professional Development and Training program. 

Topics: Professional Development, Portland Community College, Employee Training

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