By now you should have prepared a list of aspirations for 2024. I am sure many of you only have a mental list, but it is extremely important that you commit it to writing. Studies have revealed that a person is 42% more likely to achieve a goal simply by writing it down. I can only imagine what is on some of those lists: Save more money. Eat healthier. Socialize more. Go on a decent vacation. Find a good man. Find a good woman. Land my dream job. Exercise more… If your list includes start a degree program, or complete some short courses, read more, or attend online seminars, engage other professionals, or contribute more in LinkedIn conversations, congratulations!
Today we are discussing the importance of continuing professional development or CPD.
“Continuing Professional Development is a commitment to ongoing lifelong learning. CPD encourages looking forward and identifying opportunities to learn something new, refresh existing knowledge, improve skills, or simply keep up-to-date with the latest developments within a particular profession or industry. In practice, CPD can mean everything from taking a training course or attending an educational event, to studying for new qualifications or learning new aspects of a job.”
What is CPD? Continuing Professional Development Explained | The CPD Certification Service (cpduk.co.uk).
Just as it is important to have your annual medical checks i.e. preventative checks to screen for any serious illness before it happens, it is important to involve in continuing professional development so that your professional skills do not become obsolete. If you have finished studies five, ten, fifteen years ago and you are not involved in continuing professional development, your professional health is in crisis. If you have finished studies two years ago and you are not involved in continuing professional development, your professional health is in crisis. You should be involved in some form of learning and development every year. It is the only way to remain relevant and have a competitive advantage.
Continuing professional develop can take several different forms, for example: peer learning with a colleague or someone in the same profession. Attending conferences and, acquiring certificates. Reading and posting in discussions. Social learning and e-Learning courses.
Attending company-mandated training. College or graduate degrees, and online seminars.
Continuing professional development enables you to be open to different perspectives. Flint Brenton, CEO of Syntellis Performance Solutions, had this to say: “The more I enhance and broaden my perspective, the better equipped I am to tackle problems, both in life and in business.
I find that those who continuously learn are better leaders in both contexts. Frankly, it makes us more empathetic to all we encounter, and empathy is a critical leadership trait.”
I came across a quotation a few months about in a book I was reading that went something like this, “spend today so you can play tomorrow.” I want to leave this quotation especially with someone who kept meaning to continue their professional development but have not yet made the sacrifice with time, money or both. I believe that most people would agree that there are more things to do than there is time and money to get them done, but there are some things that are worth the sacrifice and your continuing professional development is one such thing. It is an investment in you. Yes, there are many people with a degree that are performing menial jobs.
However, when you are skilled and have the formal qualifications to complement your skill you have a leg up on the competition. You are in a place where you have options.
Furthermore, when you are involved in continuing professional development it demonstrates to hiring managers that you value your own development. Take it from me, it looks attractive on your CV. Recently, I heard a young man testify about how for years he kept doing short courses and certificate programs broadening his knowledge in preparation for his dream job that he landed recently. He knew what he wanted and he prepared for it and waited for the opportunity.
Why not take Jerry Rice’s advice, “Do today what others won’t so you will have tomorrow what others can’t.”
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