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 much greater potential to boost your career path in a myriad of ways.
Showcase your initiative and will to constantly improve
Many employers don't see investment in their employees' professional development as necessary. This is an unfortunate reality, but shouldn't be used as an excuse to stagnate in your role.
By funding your own classroom or online course, you'll show your current company and potential future employers that you are a problem-solver who strives to improve your skills regardless of imposed limitations. By having a clearly laid-out career path and leveraging the power of technology in training, broadening your knowledge through professional development is a surefire way to help you meet your career goals.
You can focus your development in soft skills that will be valuable in any role (and look good on any resume) by signing up for leadership training, business courses, or communication skills training, or choose courses more specific to your industry and role. No matter how niche your industry is, it's likely that there are professional development courses applicable to you. If your employer does fund training, take advantage of their training offerings and find areas where you could propose additional courses that could benefit and expand your organization's training strategy.
Keep your degree up-to-date
Many degrees don't age as well as others. As technology and globalization shape your profession, it's important to demonstrate that your education has continued relevance 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.
Showing that you're open to continuously bettering your professional skills will help keep your initial education relevant, and demonstrate your dedication to staying current within your industry. If you're unsure of how to format your resume, there are professional resume writing services to help!
Network with other professionals
Technology continues to be an omnipresent influence on our professional lives, but networking continues to be a surefire way to see your career prospects blossom. 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 partnerships 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 and maintain a gateway for communication with others in your industry.
Validate the knowledge and skills you've gained in your work experience
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 throughout your career by taking a course or enrolling in a qualification program to have tangible proof of the variety of skills you've learned on the job.
Keep up-to-date with new trends and developments
Organizations can easily become stagnant with the ''tried and true'' methods of conducting business being used until the company has fallen so far behind that it can no longer meet targets or keep up with the competition. In any organization, a culture of learning starts from the top and helps ensure that all employees from the upper echelons of management and downwards are dedicated to continuing their professional development journeys.
Professional development courses will help you understand the latest trends in your industry, and help bring new perspectives to your organization to keep that competitive edge.
Fill gaps on your resume
Between jobs? While looking for a new position you can enroll in an online course to help demonstrate to future employers that you're committed to keeping current and learning new skills. If it's in your budget, enrolling in a classroom course can add the additional benefit of networking. If you're looking to make a 180°-change, a personal development course can help you to create effective change and understand how to realize your personal, and professional goals.