Why Your Professional Development Matters
Professional development matters in so many ways, as well as personal development in general. Your development doesn’t stop when you reach a particular age. It should be a lifelong commitment to development to ensure you have the most rewards from life. Those who do commit to continual development will find that they can make big changes in their life or perhaps just find something out about themselves that they did not know before. In addition, there are a number of ways to develop. This article will explain why development matters as well as how you can continue the development process throughout your whole life. For example, taking part in CPD, completing training and planning out your next career move.
Why Does it Matter?
Here are a list of reasons why it matters and that you should consider. Then, I will talk about how we can carry out these developments.
It Can Benefit Businesses
Professional development matters because it can help you give more to the business that you work for. By improving your skills you can perform your tasks better and also help to develop your employees skills. If you are a manager or in leadership, professional development is especially important so that you can learn essential interpersonal skills to direct the team.
If a business team were non-progressive and never dedicated time to professional development, they would fail to grow in the way that other companies do. Therefore, they would fall below the standard shown by the competition. Furthermore, the business world is fast growing, this means that your business could become outdated if you are unaware of fundamental changes.
It Can Set You Up for a Promotion or Career Change
By progressing your professional development you are able to get the chance to be promoted to a more advanced job or entirely change your career path if you realise you would be better and happier in a different career. You will be able to take on more skills that would be needed for greater responsibility. In addition, you will be able to develop your skills in a new area, without which, you would be unable to change career pathway. This is important because if we stay in a position that we feel does not push us enough, we may become unmotivated and unhappy with our lives.
It Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Development matters because it can increase your job satisfaction and quality of life. This relates not only to professional development, but also personal. With development you are able to land your dream job but you can also find happiness. You may not be feeling great about how your life is going or not have many friends to hang out with. Finding ways to push yourself to step outside the box will allow you to develop yourself and start making positive changes. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the top is self-actualization. This means to ‘achieve ones potential.’ It is thought that once you reach this you have reached optimal happiness and content with your life. The way to get there is to accomplish goals and realise what you are capable. Professional development can help you reach that.
Help You to Understand Yourself
Furthermore, professional development can help you understand what you are not so good at. Learning is a great way to find out areas you may wish to improve on. Sometimes people do not seek development because they think they are only great at what they do. But this is not the case. There may be things you never thought of that you should develop. You may become more comfortable with the idea that you learning is lifelong and your dedication to development will just allow you to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Develop Your Interpersonal Skills
In addition, development does not only improve the things that we know, facts or ways of doing things. It also helps us to improve more of our soft skills, our interpersonal skills. If we were to take a course or attend a training event we would likely have to communicate with others. We will meet new people and also bounce ideas off of each other. Meeting a variety of people is simply good for understanding different personalities and different skills. We may choose to develop our skills by experience. Perhaps you have a role where you need to talk to clients or talk to particularly difficult people. You would be developing your communication every single day.
Boost Your Mental Health
One of the best things about why professional development matters is that it can help our mental health. Learning causes more synapses in our brain to be created. This can keep our brain healthy and powering on. This in turn will affect our overall health and help us live longer. Time away developing ourselves is also great for keeping our brain relaxed and having some time out from daily stresses. There have been many studies into the effect of learning and development on our mental health and they have shown the great benefits of it. Why would you not try something that is shown to have such great benefits?
If Professional Development Matters, Then How Can We Do It?
In House Training
There are many ways to improve the development of a team, one of them is in house training. This can allow the whole team to add to their existing skills or learn something entirely new to help the business to progress. Working together in this way also encourages increased teamwork back in the day to day running of the business. It will ensure that all employees have a mutual understanding of any given topic. There are a variety of different topics that you could choose to take as a team. Some examples include risk management and claims preparation, specifically for the construction industry. Usually in house training takes place face to face with all your employees physically with you. However, the pandemic meant that many of our training events had to be transferred online.
Experience and Qualifications
If you are wanting to increase your development for a dream job or simply because you think it would come in useful at some point in your life, gaining qualifications or taking courses can be great. You can take long courses and highly reputable qualifications such as degrees and master’s. If that would take up too much time and you can not commit to that, perhaps short diplomas would be more ideal. Any kind of education that would allow you to accomplish great things would be beneficial.
Here at the College of Contract Management we work hard to ensure that we can provide you with the right skills that you need to reach your full potential. That is why we offer certificate courses, diploma courses and advanced diploma courses.
In addition, simply having experience in something is the way for professional development. You will notice that when you start a job you are not sure how everything works and it will take a significant amount of learning to get up to speed. That is a significant professional development and it is why many job posts require you to have a number of years experience in a similar role.
Pushing Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone
Another fantastic tool is pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Sometimes we are creatures of habit and we do not like change. Sometimes we just want to feel comfortable and stress free. However, doing something different and challenging yourself is one of the best learning tools. This could be applying for a new job after you have been in one for many years or going out and finding new friends even though you are anxious about it. Once you get over your challenges and face your fears you will find that you feel proud of yourself and fulfilled.
Start New Hobbies
Hobbies can also be a great way to boost your development. They can be anything from reading, to sports, to arts and crafts. Each one of these hobbies would be beneficial. Reading would help your English proficiency and your grammar. Sports would help boost your team work skills to bring to work and arts and crafts would allow you to be more creative. Time off for hobbies is generally good for regenerating from work which will allow you to develop further when you return. Like they say, work hard, play hard, make sure you do have those times to do what you enjoy.
Find a Mentor
Getting a mentor who has experience in developing their professional profile may help you by advising you on what steps you can take. They know what worked for them and they can be a friend and also help you out. If you found ways to develop you can become a member yourself and tell someone else why development matters and how to do it. Having a mentor also helps you to keep to a plan and keep you motivated. If you just wrote down a brief for yourself, you might find that you do not keep up with it.
Obtain a Membership
If you are wanting to progress in your professional working life, gaining memberships of reputable organisations can be beneficial. One example is if you have been working in the construction industry and want to work your way up into higher roles. You could apply to be part of the CIOB, this is the Chartered Institute of Building. Once you join them you get the chance to have ‘chartered’ by your name and it will increase your employability. There are organisations that will offer you benefits in lots of different industries, not just building. You could join a management institute like the CMI.
Memberships do not only allow you to become more employable, they keep you dedicated to learning. You usually have to take part in CPD (Continuing Professional Development) hours to ensure that you can maintain that membership. In this way, your learning does not become outdated. Your standards of work will also be excellent because you do not stop developing it. Being a part of a membership really does help you become the best at your field of work.
This article has shown you all the reasons why development matters. With this in mind, what steps will you take to ensure that you reach your goals? Now you know that it can improve your quality of life and boost your mental health, choose one of the above development tools to get started with.
My best tip would be to make a plan and stick to it, call it your professional development plan. You should include timeframes and create deadlines so that you are always dedicated to the next step in your career. I would also keep reminders as to why you are dedicated to development so that you do not lose track of your aims. This can keep you motivated.
You should also reward yourself for all the development efforts you have made already. Noticing when you have done something great for your development will actually help you to continue doing the same thing. This is because you will seek that sense of reward again.
If you want to know more about our courses and what we can offer you, please get in contact. We offer everything from in house training to CPD courses and membership coaching.