Getting Started with Professional Development

Posted by Pat Tovo

Professional DevelopmentIf you want to impress potential cleared employers, it’s important to stay current in your field and continue to show you have the motivation to advance in your career. Make it a priority to stay up-to-date and work on polishing your skills. This work shows that you’re unwavering in your commitment to being the best you can be.

Professional development is as important as keeping your resume up-to-date. You will need to put in the work to advance your knowledge in your profession. It shows that you recognize the importance of improving your professional skills.

While a good education helps land a better paying job and a rewarding career, professional development is the extra step that sets you apart from the crowd.

Getting Started

A continuing program for professional development will greatly contribute to job opportunities, create acceleration in your career, and strengthen your value during any job recession. You will need to develop your own assessment of your skills and decide which options are good for you. Below is a thought starter list of ways you can work on professional development.

  • Take some college courses in the evening that are applicable to your career.
  • Enroll in an online continuing education program.
  • Earn an advanced certification in your field.
  • Attend a professional conference or seminar that will update your current job skills.
  • Find a relevant workshop that offers accreditation or a certificate of accomplishment.
  • Expand your social media skills. This is really about expanding your networking abilities. And if you fear social media, remember you’re in control of the information you choose to share.
  • Take on projects away from the workplace.
  • Volunteer for a nonprofit organizations to get more hands-on experience in your field.
  • Spend focused time networking with others in your industry and inquire how they have been successful, and how have they failed.
  • Join an industry association or meetup group and be an active participant.

Finding the perfect cleared position or advancing with your current employer will take perseverance. The extra steps you take to round out your skills will pay off. Several recruiters were asked to offer their tips on how to find professional development opportunities. Some suggestions:

Build a Community

The best way to stay on top of your industry and advance valuable skills is by building a strong community of connections and professional relationships. Yes – networking! Look for ways to nurture relationships that offer information, introductions and resources.

Create a stronger resume by joining groups and professional associations, but don’t be a wallflower – step up into a leadership role. Look for tasks that will add depth to your resume. Take advantage of ways to gain new skills.

The practice of building your network is the essence of professional development and it will offer an enormous boost to your career growth.

Check Certifications

Are there certifications that are common in your profession and do you hold them? Are you up on your continuing education and requirements for the certifications you hold?


Seek out and read books on personal development. Dive in to new subjects, but not just to tell employers you’ve been reading; read so that you can apply what you have learned. This knowledge gives you more confidence in your abilities and employers will take notice. Make the time to improve yourself and it will result in the development of your soft skills.

Look for Project Work

A great way to enhance your resume is through project or consulting work. Even if the projects are unpaid, you will gain experience and maybe even build your network.

Contribute to Your Profession

Look for ways to advance your profession or industry. You might write a blog, be active in a professional group or mentor students who want to enter your field. This type of activity demonstrates your commitment to giving back while growing your own abilities.

Make sure you document your activities and track accomplishments. Include details of your accomplishments and keep notes on challenges you encountered and successful strategies that were implemented.

Pull It All Together

You will be the best judge of what will work well for you. These tips are a jumping off point for an important means to fine tune your cleared career. Review the ideas and put together an outline of how you want to work on your professional development.


This entry was posted on Friday, May 11, 2018 6:19 am

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