How To Make Professional Development Work For You

The professional world is constantly changing and I hope that you are continuing to change with it. There is nothing more detrimental to your professional identity than becoming stagnant. What we all need every now and then is a fresh, new perspective to keep us engaged, passionate, and driven. Surround yourself with other professionals who are asking questions, who are constantly in pursuit of knowledge, and who are actively engaged in seeking growth.

You may be thinking, “I don’t have the time for that.” And you wouldn’t be alone. The importance of professional development is acknowledged by many, yet there are professionals are guilty of putting it off. There are 2 common excuses that are used by professionals when they are justifying why they haven’t attended a training or conference in a while:

1. “I am too busy.”

The more you continue to grow, the more responsibilities you will begin to take on. Over time, you will find yourself with more to do and less time to do it. You will find that a lot of trainings or conferences will overlap with your work schedule. Should you take time off to go?

The problem: Being absent from work for even just a day or two can create unwanted stress in the workplace. You are most likely already picturing that paperwork piling up or the accumulation of unread messages filling up your inbox.

How to make it work: Preparation is key! If you know when that training will be, you can plan ahead by completing tasks in advance – or delegating them to your other employees. Communicate with your employees so that they can be prepared for when you will be out of the office and reach out to you with any questions or issues beforehand.

2. “I don’t have the money.”

Depending on your situation, you may have had to restructure your budget recently, making it a little more inflexible than it used to be. Should you sacrifice a little bit of your savings in order to attend an event or seminar?

The problem: You may be a freelancer who doesn’t have a steady income yet so you may put off the idea of spending money until you have a few extra clients. Or maybe you have had a recent addition to your family so you are worried about all the money you should be saving to raise another child.

How to make it work: If you find an event or seminar in enough advance, you can take measures to help save a little extra money here or there. Or look into free options! There are webinars that you can listen to or watch online that are just as educational and thoughtful that won’t cost you a penny. TED Talks, for example, are a great resource to hear experts and professionals in your industry talk about their experiences.

Stop making excuses and, instead, make time for that event, seminar, or conference. You will be glad you did! The majority of people walk away with a renewed passion for their industry, as well as new business ideas that will help them find more success in their company.

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