Professional Development 101: Key Areas Toward Career Growth

There may come a certain point in your career where you’ll feel you can give much more than what you’re currently doing. You might even be experiencing it right now as you’re reading this! If that’s the case, then it’s about time you take the next step and further it through professional development. Read on to find out how.

What is professional development?

Professional development is the process of gaining knowledge and improving skills that will help you continue to find success in your job. It will also help you develop marketable skills you may need for a promotion or change in position. This can include training courses, degree programs, certifications, or even connecting with a mentor. It must be done actively throughout your career so you can stay updated on the critical things in your job.

Professional development areas you can work on

Whether you’re an employee who wants to improve in their field or a manager helping your members grow, you can start working on these professional development areas:

Workplace conflict management and resolution

Conflicts in the workplace are normal and not necessarily a negative thing. What’s important is for leaders and employees to know how they can handle them, so they don’t affect business operations or relationships among team members. Conflict management involves understanding other people’s perspectives and coming up with mutually beneficial solutions to problems.

Critical thinking

Professional development means being able to take part in critical thinking to find solutions to complex issues. To apply this in the workplace, you must understand the situation, consider all sides from those involved, and come up with a conclusion on the best way to move forward.

Time management

When your time is well managed, you’re naturally more productive and less stressed at your job. If every team member has good time management, then projects are accomplished on schedule. As a result, there may be more opportunities to attend conferences and other workshops. Time management can also directly impact your work-life balance.

Establishing a mentor

Having a mentor can be an invaluable part of your career. They guide you, encourage you, and help with your connections. Find someone in your field whom you feel comfortable with and who has been on a similar path as yours.

Mastering workplace changes

Almost all organizations go through changes, but successful ones largely depend on employees and managers. If you’re a manager, it’s good to learn more about communicating the changes to your team so you can prepare for it as a group. If you’re an employee, you may learn how you can create significant change or simply welcome it.

Finding comfort in public speaking

This action may make people nervous, but it’s a great skill to have. If you focus on this area of your professional development, you can gain enough self-confidence to achieve other things that can advance your career.

Setting goals

Defining an objective for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for your professional development. It gives you a clear path and purpose in your career. To be effective, your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Harassment awareness and prevention

Completing a course on harassment awareness and prevention can help you contribute to a safer workplace environment. It doesn’t matter if you’re an employee, a manager, or in human resources, having such knowledge makes you an invaluable member of the organization.

Communication skills

Being able to communicate well with others in the workplace is a key to professional success. Explore ways to improve your communication with peers, superiors, vendors, and customers. You can focus on understanding more about how to adapt your conversation depending on someone’s attitude and how to communicate using various methods (i.e., in person, via email, or on the phone). Communication skills also include being able to interpret other people’s body language and being mindful of your own.

Diversity and inclusion

You can make celebrating diversity a part of your professional development. Having a diverse workforce is a benefit to many organizations. Inclusion helps employees feel they are valued.

Giving effective presentations

You may need to deliver a presentation at some point in your career and can be a factor that makes a big impact on your career. An effective presentation lets people think or inspires them. You can learn about planning a presentation and delivering something memorable as part of your professional development.

Delivering constructive feedback

Being able to give and receive constructive feedback is a very important part of anyone’s job, regardless of their position. Superiors can provide feedback on your performance, and you may have to give out peer reviews. As part of your professional development, you can learn about giving clear and respectful feedback and how you can graciously listen as others provide feedback to you.

Becoming a valuable team member

It’s when you work well and encourage others, think creatively, and feel motivated and productive. You can add becoming more team-oriented to your professional development list. 

Final word

Employees who go through professional development can impress management. They show their commitment and loyalty to the organization, gain confidence in their abilities, and increase their value in the workplace. If that’s what you’re aiming for, make sure to attend conferences, courses, or training sessions that cover the areas we’ve shared with you in this article.  

If you’re a part of management, this is where you can start making improvements to the organization. You can also improve your team’s performance by seeking flexible and beautiful workspaces for employees. Weremote has private offices that are perfect especially for a hybrid office setup no matter the size of your group.

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