Continual Professional Development
Developing yourself, commonly known as continual professional development or CPD, is vital to get ahead and stay ahead in a competitive and uncertain business world. Some professions such as law make doing a defined number of CPD hours each year compulsory, which is no bad thing as CPD is an important but not urgent activity which is easy to put off, with so many other demands on your time. Another school of thought is that 10% of your earnings should be invested in your CPD to ensure that you remain fit for purpose for your career in the future.
How much are you reinvesting in yourself?
CPD doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, nor take a lot of time. Here is 17 tips to ensure that it is on your to do list:
- Read trade magazines on your journey into work and keep them handy for when you are delayed while travelling.
- Take advantage of free or discounted government schemes, even if it’s on brushing up your I.T. skills.
- Get a mentor. Do a skills coaching swap – identify what you’d like to be better at and find someone who’d like to learn what you’re good at and make time to help each other.
- Apply Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) modelling; pinpoint what you’d like to be good at e.g. being a charismatic leader and find someone who possesses this skill or quality. Notice what it is that makes them good and emulate it. Work out which specific factors make the difference.
- Join your professional association and attend events to hear speakers talk on key topics Research annual conferences and events and get the buy in of the budget keeper and plan them in your diary. Put a note in your diary to look at the website of your professional association each month and don’t feel guilty about reading research papers as this is vital.
- Join a networking group such as BNI or Toastmasters and hone those networking or presentation skills, both highly useful and transferable skills.
- Weigh up the pros and cons of time, cost, prestige, marketability of studying for a further qualification, whether it’s an evening class, a certificate, MSc or MBA. D
- on’t get stuck in a rut, make a conscious choice to do things or behave differently – flexibility is important.
- Learn new tools that can help you be more productive or creative e.g. mind maps.
- Take advantage of any free seminars your company does e.g. at lunchtime where a department shares a skill/knowledge or if this doesn’t exist, set one up.
- Buy one relevant and interesting book a month and feed your mind.
- Don’t forget your personal development; increase your self-awareness by reading personal development or self help books or get an executive or personal coach to help you achieve more faster.
- Engage the support of your boss in your development – consider the benefit to your boss and employer of investing time and/or money in you.
- Set yourself personal and professional development objectives each year; look at your appraisal and think about what you’d like to develop in you/for you.
- Keep a record of your CPD activities and review them each year. Make sure that you relate and apply your learnings to real life – make them useful every day.
- Set up a savings account for CPD – you soon won’t miss the money and it‘ll be there for when you need it.
- Being clear about where you are heading will help you to make wise choices between CPD options.