Professional development is geared toward improving an area β€œin need of improvement” from a previous evaluation or related to an employee’s new responsibilities or future career goals. Knowing the activities that can help you improve yourself and your performance at work is very important.

1. Research

  • Conducting research
  • Presenting findings of research to others

2. Continuing Education

  • Enrollment in formal degree programs, courses, or workshops
  • Pursuing certificates, accreditations or other credentials through educational programs

3. Improve job performance

  • Keeping up with technology, systems, processes
  • Learning about new developments in your field
  • Improving existing skills

4. Participation in professional organizations

  • Attending local, regional, national, and international meetings, conferences and workshops sponsored by professional organizations
  • Presenting papers at conferences and workshops
  • Serving as an officer, board member, or committee member
  • Coordinating events sponsored by the organization

5. Developmental Relationships

  • Learning through interaction with others.  Three major roles that a person can play include:  (1) assessment (feedback provider, sounding board, point of comparison, feedback interpreter), (2) challenge (dialogue partner, assignment broker, role model), (3) support (counselor, cheerleader, reinforcer, cohort).

6. Increased duties and responsibilities

  • Taking on new challenges in current position, projects, long or short-term assignments

7. Job Assignments

  • Learning by doing – by working on real problems and dilemmas
  • May be an entirely new job, a responsibility added to an existing job such as a short-term project
  • The key element in a developmental assignment is challenge, something that stretches people, pushes them out of their comfort zones, and requires them to think and act differently

8. Skill Based Training

  • Effective skill-based training allows participants to learn conceptual information or necessary behaviors, practice learning the new information or behaviors, and receive feedback on their performance.
  • Making the most of a training program:  Have a discussion with supervisor regarding reasons for attending, what you hope to get out of it;  Post-conference – debrief the experience.  Discuss what you have learned at the training session and how you might immediately apply it to your work.  Practice skills that you learned.

Get to work now. Make the necessary decisions and changes where necessary. Ensure you improve in every aspect and produce excellent results.

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