While some professionals look at training and development as a necessary evil - something to keep you qualified or pass an upcoming performance review - professional development courses have the potential to boost your career in a myriad of ways.
Showcase your initiative and will to constantly improve
Many employers don't invest in their employees' professional development. While unfortunate, this can't be used as an excuse to stagnate in your role. By funding your own classroom course or online course, you'll show your current company as well as potential future employers that you are a problem-solver who strives to improve your skills regardless of imposed limitations. If your employer does fund training, take advantage and propose additional courses that could benefit your company through your enhanced skills.
Keep your degree up-to-date
Many degrees don't age as well as others. As technology and globalization shape your profession, demonstrate that your education has continued in parallel to your professional experience. Whether you choose to study an Executive MBA, or regularly keep up-to-date with the latest version of Excel, continuing your professional education has big pay-offs - and don't forget to list your courses on your resume and LinkedIn profile. If you're unsure of how to format your resume, there are professional resume writing services to help!
Network with other professionals
Classroom courses offer the opportunity to meet other professionals who may be able to open doors for you and your organization. Introducing yourself to others in your class and asking questions about their role and company may lead to a partnership between your companies or a new job offer when you need it. Be sure to follow up with other delegates by sending invitations to connect on LinkedIn after the course to open a gateway for communication.
Validate the knowledge and skills you've gained in your work
Do you ever look back at your time at college and think about how much more you've learned since your entry into the ''real-world?'' It's never too late to validate the skills you've been acquiring through your role by taking a course or enrolling in a qualification program to show that it's not only your employer who recognizes your knowledge and skills.
Keep up-to-date with new trends and developments
Organizations can easily become stagnant with the ''tried and true'' being used until the company has fallen so far behind that it can no longer meet targets and keep up with the competition. Courses can open up a company's world even when individual employees bring back new knowledge and insight.
Fill gaps on your resume
Between jobs? On top of your job search, enrolling in an online course can help demonstrate to future employers that you're committed to keeping current and learning new skills that it takes to secure a different position. If it's in your budget, enrolling in a classroom course can add the additional benefit of networking.