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7 Professional Development Strategies to Give You an Edge

Matt Luman May 3, 2017 0

Professional Development

What’s the secret behind many successful professionals? Continuous development! In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, you’re only as good as your last achievement. So don’t settle for keeping up with the trend—find ways to get ahead of the pack. Our newest blog rounds up seven professional development strategies that can sharpen your edge and fast-track your career:

  1. Make a Career Plan. Moving up the proverbial corporate ladder is never easy, but it always helps to have a plan. What are your short-term and long-term career goals? Have a roadmap or a blueprint of all the skills that you’d like to master in the next two, three or five years. This will be useful in tracking your progress overtime.
  2. Evaluate Training Opportunities. Are there workforce training opportunities in your company? What about tuition reimbursement programs? Find out what kind of learning options are available—and take advantage of the training programs that may broaden your current skillset and bridge any potential skills gap.
  3. Get Certified. Having a few certifications under your belt can make all the difference—especially in terms of regulatory compliance. For instance, getting a 30-hour OSHA card can let employers know that you have a comprehensive understanding of construction or general industry safety. Who knows? It may even help you to be part of your company’s safety committee!
  4. Be Part of Professional Organizations. Join industry groups and professional affiliations related to your field. Aside from helping to widen your network, established associations often provide training sessions and conduct exclusive seminars for members. Mark these events on your calendar and grab the chance to brush-up on your expertise.
  5. Work Smarter. Sure, working hard pays off. But the rules of the game have changed. Find ways to achieve above and beyond your responsibilities—in less time and without losing sight of your main priorities. Reach out to your manager for projects and assignments that will not only showcase your skills, but also pave the way for more learning opportunities. Be ready to take on bigger challenges… You’ll never know where it may lead you next!
  6. Document Your Success. Take note of all your achievements, especially when they are in line with broader company goals. Make sure that your results are measureable — so you can easily highlight all the wins and improvements during performance reviews.
  7. Keep Learning. In the internet age, there are endless ways to learn—online compliance courses, podcasts, and video tutorials are just a few clicks away. Make the most out of these development opportunities and keep your eyes peeled for industry developments or game changers.

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