Nowadays, Professional Development is an essential element of any profession, in any industry. Companies are operating in fast-changing market environments and often experience high competition levels from established and market disruptor organisations. Due to this, they expect their employees to be highly-adaptive, quick-learners and able to be ‘ahead of the game’ to enable companies to survive and succeed in the future.
Unfortunately, many companies often fail to grow and develop their employees to the required standards for them to be sufficiently competent and capable. Some companies claim to have a culture of professional development, however, many of them have high staff turnover levels and the remaining staff are not always as competent or qualified as is required.
If you are a current or aspiring professional, it is crucial to take more control over your own professional development and not be disadvantaged by circumstances that you may be currently in. If you want to grow, develop and fast-track your own career, you need to take responsibility for your own Professional Development. There are a number of professional qualifications that would enable you to develop your knowledge and skill set, ultimately to become certified and fast-track your career.
Below you can find the summary of 6 signs indicating when you should consider investing in your Professional Development most. If you identify with any of the 6 signs, then now is the right time for you to kick-start some Professional Development.
You have not done any learning recently
In the Learning & Development context, professionals often use the term Continuous Professional Development (CPD). The critical word being ‘Continuous’ as all professionals are expected by their current and future employers to keep their Professional Development constant, current and competitive. This is in line with industry and/or profession related knowledge, trends and recent developments. If you have not undertaken any Learning & Development activities for at least a year, it is definitely the time to gain new knowledge, upskill or refresh your knowledge and skills on the relevant topic.
You feel overwhelmed
Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed with the amount of work, upcoming deadlines and poor work-life balance, which would all have an impact on stress levels. Constant stress in return may have implications on your physical well-being as leads to headaches, tiredness, dizziness and other symptoms. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that you do not remain in this state of mind for long periods of time.
If you feel overwhelmed, you should consider taking a break from work. It would be a good idea to start a professional development course as it would provide a great opportunity to remove yourself from the day-to-day routine and be able to focus on a new challenge. This could provide a great opportunity to learn some new tools and techniques that will enable you to improve your performance at work, and crucially, improve your work-life balance as well.
You struggle to find new challenges at work
Many jobs involve routine day-to-day activities which many people master over time and feel comfortable doing independently and after a while, automatically. This is often the case for entry-level jobs or roles with a high level of repetition, which do not provide scope for further on-the-job self-development. John Maxwell, author and a speaker on leadership once said:
“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.”
Professional Development involves learning and developing new knowledge, skills and experiences. Therefore, if you struggle to find challenges at work, it is time to undertake some Professional Development to become certified and enhance your future job prospects.
You do not feel confident
If you do not feel confident with your knowledge and/or skills at work, this is another sign that you should undertake some Professional Development, especially, if the decisions that you are making at work are not always informed and justified. Undertaking a Professional Development course would be invaluable to you as it would enable you to improve your understanding, decision-making and performance at work. The secret is simple - the more knowledge and skills you gain, the more confident you will be.
You do not meet education requirements for the roles of interest
If you are thinking of a new job or a career change, but find that most job advertisements require specific qualifications you do not hold, this is your chance to focus, commit and achieve the relevant certification. Most of the time, employers require 1 to 2 professional qualifications to be held by the successful candidate as these provide evidence and confidence in their competence. For example, PRINCE2® certifications are in high demand by employers seeking to fill project management vacancies. Take the opportunity to gain these qualifications, as adding them to your CV will enable you to improve your job prospects, earning potential and fast-track your career.
You are at risk of being made redundant
If the company that you are working for is underperforming, experiencing financial / reputational difficulties or the organisation is undergoing a transformation programme which may involve headcount reduction, you are likely to be at risk of being made redundant in the near future. Even if you hold already some good your profession-related qualifications, it is worth investing the time in refreshing and/or improving your knowledge and skills in the area. Prospective employers value candidates who keep up-to-date with industry and/or profession knowledge, trends and recent developments. Recently gained certifications on your CV would demonstrate to potential employers that you recognise the importance of continuously developing yourself and your career.
Professional Development is the key to your professional growth, job satisfaction and building a successful, long-lasting career. Therefore, why not invest some time in your Professional Development by starting a new course? Remember: ‘It is not about being the best, it is about being better than you were yesterday.’
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