The start of the year is a perfect time to reflect on what is coming ahead. If you are like most of us, that includes your work life. Whether you are looking to grow in your current position, change jobs or move into a different career entirely, it is worth investing in your professional development (PD) this year.
PD is a great way to build on your existing skills, improve your day-to-day and add value to your organisation or business. The future of your career is going to depend on how much you value investing in yourself now.
Sarah Rickett, Lead – Learner Experience at CIT Solutions believes that at no point in your job you should stop learning. She says:
At no point in your job role can you stop learning – there is always something new to learn, something to improve or an efficiency to find. Doing professional development will help keep you motivated to strive for better in your role and I believe this is key to enjoying what you do every day.
There are a variety of approaches to PD including; undertaking formal study, taking short classes, attending seminars and events, professional coaching, mentoring, etc. However, learning a new skill doesn’t necessarily have to come at a cost, or result in a formal qualification. PD can also be interacting with colleagues and asking for assistance from peers in the office.
Some of the benefits of PD include:
Learning a new skill
Whether it’s attaining a formal qualification or attending a workshop, learning a skill means you’re able to grow and develop your knowledge while gaining a sense of pride and accomplishment.
If the skill aligns directly to your work, talk about it with your workplace. It’s likely they’ll support you seeking improvement and even pay for your PD!
Tracey Fairweather, Senior Lead of Education Operations at CIT Solutions, is encouraging her team to pursue PD in the new year. She says:
In 2019, I’m encouraging my team to seek out continual professional development. My goal is to ensure that they remain not only competent in their roles, but inspired and innovative in their profession. I find that allocating an hour a week for professional development re-energizes the whole team and builds their confidence.
But if not, don’t let a lack of funds from your workplace stop you from going out to learn a new skill. Look for ways you can keep investing in yourself, whether that is watching educational programs, following industry blogs or reading a book.
Networking opportunities with people in your field
Your network can be a great source of new ideas and perspectives to help you in your role. Expanding that network through a workshop allows room for fresh ideas and insights that you may not have thought of otherwise.
Professional networking and meeting likeminded people will help you build confidence in your role, which is a lifelong skill you’ll be able to take with you throughout your career.
A gateway to future job opportunities
Through growing your existing skills set, you’re able to expand on your knowledge and appeal to future employers. If you’re undecided about your future career, a short PD course is a great way to explore an industry without the financial impact of a degree.
There’s always something new to learn if you have an open mind. Setting clear and specific goals with yourself is an important step in your professional development. For example, if you’re looking to contribute more to your current role, your goals should mesh with your manager’s goals, your department’s goals and the organisation’s goals to be successful.
So what are you waiting for? Take the opportunity to invest in yourself this year!
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you” – BB King
Looking for professional development courses for yourself or your others in your organisation? CIT Solutions offer a wide range of nationally accredited and non-accredited professional development opportunities in government and business specific subject areas. Browse our nationally accredited courses here, or our non-accredited professional workshops here.
Did you know, CIT Solutions is able to contextualise training for groups of eight or more? We also offer flexible delivery options across our suite of programs. For more information, contact us today on (02) 6207 4444, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org