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Professional Development

By admin / September 23, 2015 / 0 Comment

Have you noticed in your profession, there are buzz words that come along and get used or overused and at times, wonder what they mean or why it is being used? About a week ago, a colleague and I had the opportunity to attend a Jon Gordon seminar on leadership in Champaign, Illinois. What a fabulous way to spend two hours of my life. There have been times when I’ve gone to conferences or seminars and thought, “I cannot get that time back.” Upon leaving the session with Jon, both Becca and I were wishing for more. By the way, if you haven’t read The Energy Bus or any of Jon’s books, you should!

Since then, I have been thinking about this term “professional development”; mostly because I have learned that I LOVE this, my brain NEEDS this. Personally and professionally, I need to be challenged and to have my mind renewed with direction and to hear how others have failed and succeeded and grown in their lives.

What is professional development? I googled “development” and these three things 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 can apply to all parts of our life.  Take for instance growing children. When I think about raising my boys; as they were growing becoming more advanced, it was my job to help that growth by providing for their needs: food, shelter, clothing, discipline, love. And this was done over a period of time; sometimes  it felt longer than other times. They were (and still are as young men) in a state of being created or becoming more advanced.

Now let’s apply this to our careers/jobs/professional lives. Why would we invest time in professional development? Why isn’t going to work and doing our jobs day in and day out enough? After all, are we not contributing to the success of the organization each day? Why does this matter so much?

It matters because our brains are the most complicated part of us and we use so very little of it. Our brains are searching for meaning; our brains are searching for advancement; they are 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 ultimately those around us, including our colleagues.

While I really wanted to have a specific definition of “professional development”, I realized that is really not the point. The point is that we focus on continually developing ourselves, mind and body, is crucial to our growth, our existence and our success. If I had not worked hard at developing my boys, they would not be healthy today, physically, emotionally or mentally.

What does professional development look like for you? Is your company willing to make that investment in you? Are you willing to make that investment in your by taking the time away from the daily tasks of your job to renew your mind and soul? What emphasis do you or your organization place on the development of its team members? There are dozens of options!

  • Books
  • Seminars
  • Meeting with professional groups
  • Conferences
  • Attending leadership conferences
  • Annual goal setting
  • Team building

What is one way that you have focused on professional development in the past and would recommend to someone? (comment at cherylbmitchell.com)

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