What is professional career development?
Professional career development is the process of improving skills and gaining knowledge that will help you continue to find success in your role and even develop the marketable skills you may need to get a promotion or change positions. Professional career development should be something you actively do throughout your career so you can stay up to date in your field. Professional career development can include training courses, degree programs, certifications, or even connecting with a mentor who can help guide you in your career.
1. Harassment awareness and prevention
Taking a professional development course on harassment awareness and prevention can help you contribute to a positive environment where all employees feel safe. If you’re a manager or human resources representative, you may learn how to confront instances of harassment in the workplace.
2. Communication skills
Professional success depends on how well you’re able to communicate with others in the workplace. As part of your professional development, explore ways to improve your communication with peers, managers, vendors, and customers. You can understand more how to adapt your conversation based on someone’s attitude and how to communicate using various methods, like in-person, through email, or on the phone. Communication skills also involve knowing about body language, both how to interpret it and how to be mindful of your own.
3. Celebrating diversity and practicing inclusion
Part of your professional development can also include celebrating diversity. Diversity is a benefit to many businesses and inclusion helps those at an organization feel like they are just as valued as their peers.
4. Influencing others
Whether you’re in a leadership role or an employee, you have the ability to influence those around you. It’s important to understand the power you hold as an influencer at work and how you can make a lasting impact in the workplace.
5. Giving effective presentations
At some point in your career, you may need to deliver a presentation. Being able to give an effective presentation that makes people think or inspires individuals to act is a commodity that can make a big difference in your career. As part of your professional development, you can learn more about how to plan a presentation and deliver something to your audience that is memorable.
6. Using creativity to solve problems
You will likely be in situations where you need to solve a problem. Having the skills to do so is valuable in any workplace, but when you can also come up with creative solutions, you can solve even the most complex of problems. Your problem-solving skills affect those you work with and any customers or clients you may have.
7. Management training
If you have goals to eventually work in a management role, then part of your professional development could focus on how to prepare for the opportunity. You could take courses to learn more about management styles and what people expect from their leadership team.
8. Delivering constructive feedback
Being able to deliver and receive constructive feedback is a crucial part of any employee’s job, no matter where they are in a company’s hierarchy. Managers may provide feedback on your performance, or you may have to deliver constructive criticism to a coworker during a peer review. As part of your professional development, consider learning more about how you can give clear feedback respectfully and how you can graciously listen to others as they provide feedback to you.
9. Becoming a valuable team member
Being a valuable team member is important in the workplace because when you’re a valuable team member, you work well with others, think creatively, encourage others, feel motivated and increase productivity. Professional development that focuses on how you can be team-oriented works well for small and large groups, management teams, and even an entire workforce.