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August 7, 2019


7 ways to maximize your professional development

Have you ever pondered what successful individuals share in common? And what similarities do you share with that exclusive group? Typically, they possess a wide range of talents, just like you! Moreover, they read our blog—or at least they should—and they all strive for one thing: their professional development. But what exactly is professional development? It's the cumulative efforts made by a person to expand their knowledge and skills, progressively enhancing their professional journey.
 
If you too aim to achieve a sense of professional development to be proud of and execute a strategy that propels you towards success, akin to an atomic ant, here are some steps you can follow:
  1. Accept the change. As Darwin aptly stated, the most resilient species are those capable of adapting to change. Given that the next 5 years will likely witness more changes than the last 50, be part of the change by embracing new technologies, acquiring fresh skills, and thinking outside the box. Listen to Darwin.
  2. Think unconventionally. Building upon the first step, dare to explore novel ideas, scrutinize them, and find ways to apply them in your daily work. Aim high and don't fear the prospect of some ideas failing initially. It may take time and considerable effort, but persistence in innovation will keep your personal and professional development ablaze.
  3. Craft a plan. In every film, the protagonist has a grand scheme. Likewise, having a well-defined career plan forms the foundation of job success. What should you consider when designing your plan? Regularly review the objectives you've set, concentrate on honing the skills required for your desired position, and define the milestones necessary for improvement. Collaborating with your manager to establish an action plan can make it easier to identify areas for growth and allocate the resources needed to progress.
  4. Seize opportunities. Whether it's the prospect of a new job or vying for a promotion within your current organization, prioritize skill enhancement and demonstrate your capacity for multitasking to enhance your value proposition. Embrace the challenge of new tasks or assume added responsibilities, as it will facilitate continual learning and maintain your motivation.
  5. Foster continuous learning. Continuous learning is vital for personal and professional development. It's not about striving to be the most innovative; it's about nurturing curiosity. Seek answers to questions that arise and connect newfound knowledge with your ongoing work. You'll learn from your surroundings, visits to museums, reading, online research, or even teaching! Sharing knowledge and skills with others is among the most effective ways to master a subject. You have a lot to contribute!
  6. Self-assessment. Propose to your Human Resources department or to have your boss do this self-reflection exercise and seek its orientation. It will allow you to realize your abilities, know the objectives of the organization in the short and long term, discover the professional opportunities within your reach. And, most importantly: develop your self-awareness, which is essential for effective development that starts from yourself instead of others planning it for you.
    Remember to also reflect on your own definition of "success" to focus on the aspirations you really want to pursue.
  7. Gather feedback. Self-assessment is great, but it is not enough, also you need the feedback that other people can bring you: your manager, your colleagues and even your clients or suppliers with whom you collaborate. Any information you can gather is your most valuable source of knowledge to be fully aware of your strengths and handicaps.
Motivated to propel your career forward? But wait, there's something missing! Or perhaps you don't intend to reach your goal without a fitting soundtrack?