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. It can include training courses, degree programs, certifications, or even connecting with a mentor who can help guide you in your career. At any position these professional career development topics can guide you:

1. Workplace conflict management and resolution

Conflicts in the workplace are a normal occurrence and not necessarily a negative thing. It’s important for leaders and employees to know how to handle conflict so it doesn’t profoundly affect business operations or the relationship that exists between members of the team. Conflict management involves understanding another person’s point of view and coming up with mutually beneficial solutions to a problem.

2. Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves finding solutions to complicated problems. To think critically, you must understand the issue, consider all perspectives from those involved and arrive at a conclusion on the best way to move forward.

3. Delivering performance appraisals

If you’re in a management position, then part of your job may include completing performance appraisals. A great way to develop in your professional career is to have a more solid understanding of how to deliver these appraisals to employees in a way that lets them know you value their work and want to help them continue to succeed while also addressing any areas for improvement.

4. Time management tips

When you can manage your time, you’ll naturally be more productive and experience less stress at your job. If every member of the team also has great time management skills, then projects are completed on time and there may be more time to attend conferences and other training sessions. Time management also has a direct impact on your work/life balance.

5. Mastering change in the workplace

Nearly every organization goes through change, but a successful implementation largely depends on all employees and managers. If you’re a leader, you may benefit from learning more about how to communicate the change to your team so you can prepare for it as a group. As an employee, you may want to know how you can create important change or welcome change.

6. Persuasive storytelling

If you are in a sales role or any other position where you must get someone else to perform an action, then persuasive storytelling is a viable skill. It involves being able to naturally connect with your audience so they feel a connection to you and your purpose. Persuasive storytelling means you are able to show empathy for others and communicate your position in a way that allows your audience to envision themselves in the situation you’re presenting.

7. Finding comfort in public speaking

Public speaking makes many people nervous, but if you spend some time focusing on this as part of your professional development, you can gain the confidence you need to speak in front of others, whether you’re presenting on a topic at a conference or pitching a promotion in front of a leadership team.

8. Enhancing the customer experience

If you hold a customer service role, then developing your customer service skills will make a major impact on your company and the people you serve. To enhance the customer experience, you must be patient, understanding, empathetic, adaptable, and level-headed. Professional development in customer service can provide you with the tools to deal with difficult customers or ways you can help turn a customer’s negative experience into a positive one.

9. Performance management

As a manager, you may want to learn more about performance management for your employees. This skill involves evaluating members of your team, understanding their skills and experience, and putting them in positions where they are fully utilized. Performance management can also mean addressing any performance problems, coming up with an improvement plan, and discussing negative behavior.

10. Setting goals

One of the most important things you can do for your professional development is set goals for yourself. Your goals give you a path and a purpose in your career. Your department may have goals for the team and your company can have overarching goals that drive business decisions and strategy. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based to give you the most chance of success.


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