Professional Development Areas To Optimize For Your Career Growth
What is Professional Development?
Professional development is one of the two pillars of lifelong learning and constant improvement. It is essential to develop yourself continuously in the following professional development areas to improve your professional game.
Professional Development Areas
Leadership is the critical professional development skill you must possess to achieve meaningful professional goals in your career. However, the dictionary definition of a leader is the person who leads, which means the only thing you need to be a leader is a follower.
You don’t need authority or permission to lead.
You can be a leader if:
- You have guts to be first to try something new.
- You can make it easy for others to follow.
- You can embrace your followers.
For example, if you are a web developer, you can lead to learning new technologies to help your team build better websites. To do this, you don’t need an authority only thing you require is leadership in your role.
Leadership is a skill; the more you practice it, the better you get at it.
Effective communication is the fundamental characteristics of great leaders. Similarly, communicating your ideas clearly and effectively plays a significant role in your professional development.
Various studies have found out that we spend 70 to 80 per cent of our waking hours in some form of communication.
Having said this, I don’t think you need to rely on any research for this; instead, you can find out yourself by doing a quick self-audit to check how much time you spend on:
- Social media
The most successful people in the world are excellent communicators.
Teamwork becomes dreamwork when team members start to trust each other. Nowadays, often teams are scattered working remotely, which is making it harder and harder to develop trust among team members.
Your professional development plan must include:
- How to build trust among your team
- How to communicate openly and honestly with team members
- How to contribute towards the team’s ultimate goal
- How to accept a difference of opinion and diversity
- How to back your team members
- Last but not least, how to have fun while doing all of the above
Influential team members make any team great, whether it’s a football team or a software development team.
Your team’s growth directly correlates with your personal development.
Career development is where the rubber meets the road in your professional development plan. Because in today’s fast-paced world ways of doing things change rapidly; you have to work on your career development consistently to stay competitive.
- Have at least 12 months career development plan
- Break it down to manageable daily, weekly chunks
- Review your ultimate career goal yearly and repeat the above two steps
For example, if you are a website developer, you can’t rely on what you learned a few years ago to build today’s websites.
Tools for Business
The Internet has changed the way we do work in the last decade, and the Covid-19 situation added fuel to the fire. In addition to this, using technology to play the game isn’t an option anymore if you want to survive in this new world.
Today’s work demands you to learn and master the modern tools for business.
- Email processing
- Project Management Tools
- Instant messaging apps
- Video calls
- Cloud storage
- Online documents and sheets
This list might be slightly shorter or longer as per your particular work. However, learning and mastering tools for business must be your one of the personal development goal regardless of the number of tools you have to use to do your job.
Because of so many demands of modern work comes with the challenge of shortage of time, lack of focus and shoddy work.
It is impossible to progress without learning:
- How to do so much during working hours
- How to take action & avoid staying in motion only
- How to eliminate time-wasting activities
- How to maintain focus to do deep work that matters
- How to follow a daily routine for maximum performance
Productivity is probably the biggest challenge of our time because of the countless distractions, thanks to technological advancement.
Blogging about your professional development activities is a powerful way to record your learning experience and understand the ideas better. Above all, it forces you to improve in all your professional and personal development areas.
It helps you improve your:
- Research skills
There is nothing that teaches you more than starting a blog. Writing down your professional development activities is a great way to reflect and conduct a regular review of your professional development goals.
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