Why is Professional Development Important?
Professional development can have a significantly positive impact on individuals, teams and organisations, but it is often not prioritised.
The past several years have seen a dramatic shift in the way we work, where we work and how we interact with our teams. Increased remote working, reduced working hours and organisational restructures have created many challenges as we continue to adapt to a constantly changing landscape.
At a time when companies are focusing more and more on cutting costs and increasing productivity, it can be difficult to justify the time and expense associated with professional development. However, there are many reasons that suggest continuous learning and formal development opportunities remain extremely beneficial for both employees and businesses, both in the short and long term.
- If you feel valued, you are more likely to stay
By investing in your professional development, your organisation is demonstrating that it values you and your contributions as an employee. When you feel appreciated and are treated as a valued member of a team, this can give you a greater incentive to remain in an organisation, even during challenging times.
- A happy workforce is a productive workforce
When you are given opportunities to learn and grow, you are more likely to feel fulfilled, and therefore, happier in your role and workplace. This mindset helps you to push yourself at work to become more efficient and effective at your day-to-day tasks.
- Adaptability is crucial during times of change
Adaptability is a learned skill and is often incorporated into professional development training and courses. By hearing from industry leaders and peers about how they have navigated changes and challenges in their careers, you can gain the tools and knowledge to apply to your own situation.
- Successful people and businesses stay across new trends
We are experiencing rapid changes across our professions and industries as we adjust to the ‘new normal’. With this comes new ways of working and new technologies, which are important to stay across to remain relevant.
- External feedback is incredibly valuable
While it is fantastic to get feedback from your managers and colleagues within your organisation, it is often helpful to have an external sounding board to discuss workplace challenges. This is even more important at a time when remote working is reducing opportunities for real-time feedback. Professional development events and courses often incorporate Q&A sessions or the chance to pose questions in a group setting.
- Learning new skills can give you an edge in your role
When you gain new skills and knowledge, it can help you to become more confident in taking on new responsibilities. By pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and trying new things outside your usual scope of work, you are giving yourself the best possible chance to be considered for opportunities as they arise.
- The learning doesn’t stop with you
While you may receive professional development, you are not the only person who benefits. By taking your newly acquired learnings back to your team, you’re helping to foster a culture of knowledge sharing and learning, which is crucial to the continued success of your organisation. You could also consider formally mentoring a new team member.
- Professional development gives you the time to brainstorm
By carving out dedicated time for your learning and development, you are proactively giving yourself the time and space to brainstorm workplace challenges. By changing your routine and surroundings, you are giving yourself the chance to spark your creativity and consider new ways of approaching your role.
There are many ways that you can gain professional development, depending on your location, budget, and training requirements. For example, ThinkTank Media hosts face-to-face and virtual summits across Australia and New Zealand for PAs and EAs, emerging leaders and HR professionals.