Professional Development At Work

By Louise Bauer Davoli

Are you starting to feel stale and repetitive at work? Keeping the job novel and staying relevant in your career can be a challenge. Career planning and professional development can help address some of these challenges.

Professional development usually refers to the skills required for continuation of a specific career path or to general skills offered through continuing education. Increasing the competency and effectiveness of employees is usually the motivating issue behind a company's decision to offer or require professional development. Professional development may also include general skills such as personal development. It can be seen as training to keep current with changing technology and practices in a profession or in the concept of lifelong learning.

The path to keeping it fresh and enhancing performance is your willingness to keep on learning. When facing a challenge or simply wanting to grow, those individuals who are willing to make the necessary changes seek new information and ideas look awfully fresh and engaging. Learning in the workplace is increasingly key to career viability, for the shifts in the structure and shape of jobs will require you to cultivate new skills throughout your career. The pace with which change occurs will demand that you approach your career as a series of progressive learning experiences, mastering new technologies and advancements.

Keeping It Fresh

-- Requires learning
-- Try a different way of doing things
-- Build a community
-- Use technology, podcast, blogs and web sites

Be a community builder and get actively involved with connecting and networking with others in your field. Be a dedicated participant in maintaining the well being of your work life. Network with other people who do work related to yours, attend events when possible, and join professional associations, conferences, and training both to learn and to meet people.

Electronic relationships are excellent ways to network. With YouTube, meet and blog sites covering just about any topic under the sun it is much easier today to connect and cultivate a community beyond your geographic location.

In a broad sense professional development may include formal types of vocational education, typically post secondary or technical training leading to qualification or a credential required to get or retain employment. Informal or individualized programs of professional development may also include the concept of coaching.

Whatever your occupation, keep up to date with changes in your field and keep a wide network of friends and associates in related jobs.