Updated: May 18, 2019
Professional Development is a constant in my life and as a leader of an organization, I have come to realize that while employees do not always say so with that label” the majority of people crave development/growth!
It is a constant in my life because my brain needs this growth, personally and professionally. It needs to be challenged, renewed in a direction and to hear how other’s successes, failures, and growth path.
Upon googling “development”, these are the three things that popped up first:
The act or process of growing or causing something to grow or become larger or more advanced
The act or process of creating something over a period of time
The state of being created or made more advanced
As human beings, this applies to all parts of our life. Take for instance growing children. I think about raising my two boys; they were growing larger, becoming more advanced and it was my job to help that growth by providing for their needs: food, shelter clothing, discipline, love. This was done over a period of time, and if I had stopped any of those before they were fully developed, their growth would have been stunted. As young adults, they can now continue that process for themselves.
How does this apply to our careers/jobs/professional side? Our brains are the most complicated part of us, and we use so very little of it. Our brains are searching for meaning; searching for advancement; searching for bigger, greater, more. Reading and learning and listening and collaborating are ways to feed that need and when our brains are more engaged and fulfilled, we become better for ourselves and our colleagues.
Originally, I was searching for a specific definition of “professional development” when I realized that really is not the point. The point is that we do not ever really arrive; this is a journey. We focus on continually developing ourselves, mind and body and that is critical to our growth, our existence and our success.
What does professional development look like for you? Is your company willing to make that investment in you? Are YOU willing to slow down and or stop to prioritize that investment in yourself by taking the time away from the daily tasks of your job? What emphasis do you or your organization place on the development of its team members? There are dozens of options!
What is one way that you have focused on professional development in the past and would recommend to someone?