Professional development is crucial to take your career to the next level. Many of us live busy lives balancing home and family life, work and leisure. Working professional development into your life can feel impossible at times, but with the right combination of organisation, planning and resources, you can fit professional development into any schedule.
Often it is a good idea to start by talking to your employer for help developing your professional skills. It is in their interest to help you grow and make you an asset to your company. It is also essential to take your own initiative outside of work.
Ask Your Employer For Help
Discuss your future with your employer on a regular basis. Most businesses have some form of one-to-one meeting for employees to discuss their roles and progression with their line managers, so this could be an ideal time to bring up your desire to learn more. Ask if there is any internal training or qualifications you could take, or see if they are willing to fund a qualification at an external institution.
Set Time Aside
The key to making time for your professional development outside of work is organisation. It would help if you tried to keep an hour or two on several days throughout the week clear for working on your professional goals.
This may be challenging at times, but with proper time management, you can do it. For instance, you could consider getting up half an hour earlier each day and using the first half-hour after returning from work to focus on professional development. Over time this will all add up.
It is essential to understand your goals so that you can use your time productively. Consider where you are in your career and where you want to be. Then decide how to use the different tools at your disposal to get where you need to go. Having a planning session listing your goals and the various resources you need can ensure that when you spend time on your development, you are actually achieving something.
Find A Mentor
Mentorship can be invaluable for anyone hoping to reach the next level of professional development. Finding a mentor who has gone through the steps and career path you are aiming for can provide invaluable insight into the best ways to move ahead.
You could consider making use of mentorship platforms such as PushFar. This platform allows you to connect with thousands of potential mentors over the internet, making it much easier to fit mentorship into your daily schedule. You can request a demo from PushFar to find out more about this service.
Attend Conferences And Trade Shows
The more you know about your industry, the better placed you will be to progress. Conferences and trade shows can give you valuable insights into the state of your industry, the newest advances in tech and operations, and help you network. Discussing your career options with other like-minded professionals can help you decide on the next steps you should take.
Use Online Resources
The internet is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to take their career to the next level. There is a plethora of free and paid courses and training that you could undertake from the comfort of your home. It may be best to start with free courses from online institutions like the Khan Academy. You can then consider your options for paid courses and see what qualifications will be most beneficial in your chosen field.
Keep Distractions To A Minimum
When you need to concentrate, whether on professional development, your work or any other project, it is crucial to do so in an environment conducive to productivity. This means reducing potential distractions as much as possible. If you don’t already have a home office, setting one up could be a good idea. Working from your sofa or bed may be tempting, but it can blur the lines between work and leisure, making each more difficult.
Consider finding a suitable desk and office chair to set up in a quiet room or corner of your home. Ensure that you keep this space reserved for working so that you don’t get distracted. For instance, avoid any rooms with televisions and leave any unrelated crafts or hobbies elsewhere.
Subscribe To Magazines And Journals
Staying up to date on the latest industry trends can help deepen your understanding of your field and put you in a good position to rise through the ranks at work. Consider setting up a subscription to some of the most respected magazines, journals and blogs that are relevant to your industry. Whenever you have a spare minute or two, take the time to browse these resources and look out for any new information that could be useful in your workplace.