When you think of professional development, the first thing which comes to mind are the professional academic courses which we generally do before taking up a career, but professional development is much more than that. In this article, you will learn why continuing professional development is important and also that there are a lot of ways which can get you that dream job through professional development.

What is professional development? Professional development is the learning you tend to achieve and manage with certification, diploma and degree courses along with other formal and informal learning sources. We can easily understand the formal academic courses but informal learning is a bit different. Don’t worry, We will discuss informal learning in detail in the later part.

So why is professional development necessary for individuals? Professional development is not only an essential need for the people who are job seekers but also for the people who have other ambitions. Professional development helps you to be confident and at the top of the line performers in your organization. 

Professional development is a necessity for the individuals who want to spear ahead both vertically and horizontally in their organization. Professional development according to the requirements of the future can help you to be updated with the trending skills and the skills of the future.

According to a survey done in 2018, 44% of working professionals think that the lack of professional development is one of the major sources of stress. 68% think that training and development is the most important work policy and a whopping 74% think that they are not able to use their potential just because of the lack of professional development. Lets save the detailed benefits of professional development for some other day. Please comment below if you want to learn more about it.

How to make plans for professional development? Actually making a professional development plan is quite easy if you know the importance and benefits you can get from professional development. One thing to understand is that Professional development is not a magic pill which changes your fortune overnight. 

Professional development is actually a strategic plan which can get you success when you think over it logically and practically. There is a different plan for different types of professionals. There are usually 3 types of professionals in the market. First are the ones who haven’t started their first job, second are the ones who are not job seekers but want to excel at their workplace and third are obviously the jobseekers.

If you are in the first category, your focus should be more towards the technical skills or the professional skills which may help you to get the entry in your desired field or industry. This includes academic courses and technical skill training. 

Professionals from the second category can look more into enhancing their business skills as well as technical skills. This can be done by taking courses and certifications related to their industries.

Example for the job of Project Manager is given in the video above, you can check the video.

If you are a jobseeker, this means your choice of skill to be enhanced should inline with your future job. Your choice of professional development should include the skills which can help you to get the experience required for your desired job.

Here are some of the most popular Online Platforms for professional development. Also please leave a comment if you know another online source of professional development which is popular in your area or professional circle. And if you liked the video so far, please consider subscribing and help me by liking and sharing this video in your social media circle. 

What to learn in professional development? Your learnings in professional development should depend on the skills you want to attain in order to succeed in your career. There are a few skills which are mandatory for some job profiles, some skills which are trending and some skills which are not prevalent right now but may be in huge demand in the future. 

There is another bifurcation in which you can divide the skills. These are hard skills, soft skills and traits. Skills required for each and every job title can be divided in any of the mentioned bifurcations. Your professional development should be based on the priority or urgency to have a skill in your arsenal of talent. 

Informal ways of professional development

Professional development does not revolve around only courses and certifications. Few skills do not require a certificate to prove your knowledge. These skills can be any hard skills, soft skills and traits.Case Studies, consultations, coaching, mentoring and community learning are some ways of informal professional development. 

Informal ways are helpful in the live setup where you need to implement the professional knowledge immediately in your day to day work. This type of professional development helps you divide the necessary knowledge in chunks which you can learn on a regular basis and simultaneously use the knowledge in your work and learn in the most practical way. 

Informal ways of professional development is also helpful in knowledge transfer and skill building within the organisation. These are one of the most versatile and customized ways of learning as you can choose which way of learning is suitable for you. You can also consider them as skills development tools for all types of individuals whether you are student, junior, mid level or senior professional.

Can professional development help personally?

Professional development not only helps you professionally but also personally. The soft skills and traits are the skills which are helpful on both the professional and personal front. Professional development brings out the best side of you with the ability of utilizing your full potential professionally and personally.