When you think about advancing your career, what steps are you taking to get there? Some might attempt to increase their workload and others might try kissing up to the person in charge, but none of these steps actually improve their ability to do their job. Sure, increasing your workload might get you some acknowledgment, but it will most likely result in burnout due to overcompensation. And being a brown noser might get you brownie points, but it’s not going to make you any stronger of a professional. So what are some effective ways to advance your career while managing to stay engaged and motivated?
For most people, getting an education typically comes to a halt around the time you begin your career. Whether you stopped going to school after getting your high school diploma or you went all the way to getting your Ph.D., it’s very likely that the next phase in your life was to move on from your education to focus on your career. But why should your education stop there?
Well, it doesn’t have to. More and more organizations are turning to professional development as a resource to not only increase engagement but to advance their leaders. It just so happens that it’s also become a perk that employees are increasingly seeking out. For instance, a recent study composed by IBM states that approximately 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they were to invest in their career training.
So professional development quickly becomes a win-win situation for employees and employers alike. Employees attain new skills, confidence, and other life-long techniques to apply to their success, while employers also see impressive gains, such as increased engagement and productivity. Professional development can even have an impact on the overall profitability of an organization. In fact, according to Forbes, companies that invest in employee training seek to gain 21% more profit. And that’s just the beginning.
Professional development can be defined as the continued education and career training for a professional after they have entered the workforce. The original purpose behind organizations distributing these programs was to help their employees adopt new skills, stay up-to-date on current trends, and excel in their careers. But as more and more companies are seeing the vast benefits that occur as a result of professional development, one could say that the purpose has slightly shifted. Businesses are now incorporating professional development into their training programs in an effort to boost engagement, reduce turnover, nourish their culture, and ultimately increase their earnings.
The key to establishing a profitable business begins with your employees. It’s important for any business to understand what their employees value and expect out of their employer so that you can meet those expectations as often as possible. When your employees are satisfied, increased performance and reduced burnout follow. And when asked what they are looking for out of a career, 76% of employees claim that they are looking for opportunities to grow professionally, which is why professional development is so important.
In addition to the professional benefits, the skills your employees gain from these programs span across their personal lives as well. Professional development can boost an individual's confidence, strengthen communication, and create guidelines to maintain a healthy work-life balance. All of these factors have a tremendous impact on the health and wellness of that individual. And with a healthy life at home, employees will thrive in the office. In fact, here’s what one participant of Valor Performance coaching for professional development had to say about their experience:
I would tell you that Valor has impacted my entire life, not just my work life,
but across my personal and professional development, my work-life balance,
and my ability to show up for colleagues, my family, and my team.
Tracey Tennyson, Chief of Staff– Optum.
So if you’re part of the 74% of employees who feel that they are not reaching their full potential within their career, you might want to consider the benefits that professional development can provide.
Take a second to think about all of the new software programs that have been created in the last few years. If your team is still using the same CRM that you had 5 years ago, odds are you’re experiencing some technical difficulties. But we don’t have to explain all of the updated software– it’s just part of living in the 21st century.
It does, however, exemplify the amount of change we, as professionals, must adapt to. Technology isn’t the only evolving piece of the working world that we live in today– making professional development imperative to companies everywhere. It might not be technology that you want to focus on strengthening, but learning and perfecting new skills can make your life and your job a whole lot easier in the long run.
Have you ever applied for a job through an online job board? If so, you probably noticed the part that mentions the number of applicants that have already applied. Although this can be discouraging, it’s a reality. And with such stiff competition, having an extra skill or certification can be what helps you stand out as a candidate, ultimately landing you the job. That certification you get after four years with your company could also make you eligible for a promotion or large raise you hadn't received previously.
Although there are many different types of professional development, a majority of the training, classes, and coaching sessions are conducted in groups. And while you’re surrounding yourself with leaders that are looking for solutions to challenges you might already be facing, professional development provides you with external perspectives and solutions you might not have thought of without their insight. It also creates bonds between you and those professionals– forming a network of high-performing, growth-minded individuals.
Professional development gives you a new perspective on scenarios and obstacles that you might be facing. Instead of dwelling on mistakes or mishaps that might have happened at work or at home, professional development encourages you to approach adversity with a growth mindset, increasing your positivity and opening a window of opportunity. And paired with your newly expanded network and skill set, your career will flourish.
As mentioned above, professional development affects more than just your career. While you learn new skills, meet new people, and prioritize your mental health, you will see a dramatic shift in your confidence– for the better. When you prioritize a growth mindset, any challenge will appear as an opportunity to become a better version of yourself. And along with the tools utilized from your professional development training, you will have all the steps necessary to accomplish your goals.
While there are multiple types of professional development, they all foster a similar result of boosted confidence, engagement, and performance. Whichever avenue you choose depends on your preferences and your learning style. And if you’re torn between one method or the other, here are a few details to help you make that decision.
Online courses are great because they’re convenient, done on your own time, and typically offer progress tracking. In addition, a lot of online courses offer chat groups for participants to communicate with leaders outside of the course to discuss the teachings giving you another chance to grow your network virtually and to work with professionals in a similar field.
Individual coaching is a lot like it sounds. You partner one on one with a professional performance coach to build your skills at your own pace. The awesome thing about performance coaching is that it provides you with an external viewpoint that can offer extremely valuable feedback. And at Valor Performance, the conversations you have with your coach are completely confidential, so you can flesh out any issues you might be facing transparently, knowing that you have a trusted ally on your side.
For teams within organizations, group coaching aligns professionals with one another, allowing each member of the team to communicate thoroughly; building trust amongst each other, and facilitating measures to efficiently reach their goals. Group coaching also helps professionals outside of their teams align with leaders that play similar roles in other organizations. In addition to sharing innovative strategies, and working off each other’s ideas, group coaching is another way to meet professionals in a similar position to your own.
Conferences are making a comeback since being put on pause during the pandemic. Leaders that attend conferences are there to network, learn from each other, and stay connected. Each conference is different, but most of them offer advice from leaders that have already lived through obstacles that you might currently face or will face in the future.
No matter the method, professional development is guaranteed to enhance your professional and personal development. But choosing which type will most benefit you depends on several factors, such as your career path, your industry, your position, what you’d like to improve, and what goals you are focusing on.
Oftentimes, professionals get overwhelmed with all their options and end up pushing them off for another time. With Valor Performance, our executive team conducts a thorough analysis of your team’s weak spots and areas of opportunity, so we can align you with the most efficient method of professional development for your business. Valor Performance offers training through interactive teachings, one on one coaching, and training courses to cater to all professionals at every level. Schedule a demo to learn more about what professional development can do for you.