We are only a few weeks into 2016, which means there’s still plenty of time to create and polish your new year’s resolutions. As an employee, you might feel like your knowledge and skills are constantly being analyzed and assessed. The workplace can be a competitive learning environment, which can lead to incredible personal and professional growth, if you’re using your resources and opportunities properly.
Keeping up in a competitive work environment can be exciting, challenging, motivating and nerve-wracking all at once. Many organizations have started offering learning opportunities for employees to assist in their professional development. Unfortunately, these opportunities might not meet the needs of every employee, which is why you might need to take the lead when it comes to pursuing your own professional development.
Ready to take charge of your own learning and development in the workplace? Here are some tips to help you get started:
Identify Areas of Improvement
Before you can really dive into any professional development opportunities, you first need to identify the parts of your job that are most challenging or that you’d like to improve your performance in. If you’re having trouble identifying these areas of improvement, take a look at past performance reviews, and assess the extent to which you’ve acted upon or improved the points discussed. Also, talk to your manager, coworkers and other trusted colleagues for their thoughts, and seek advice from individuals you consider mentors or positive examples in your field.
Utilize Your Resources
Speak to your manager or HR department about any professional development opportunities that might be geared toward the areas of improvement you’ve identified. Though your company might not offer all of the opportunities you’re looking for, you are sure to receive constructive guidance. For instance, your manager might be able to connect you with a mentor or coach with exceptional skills in one of your areas of improvement, or perhaps your HR department knows of an online class that would benefit you.
Understand Your Industry
One of the best reasons to pursue professional development opportunities is to keep up with industry trends and changes. New technology is constantly being introduced, customer demand is changing, and new leaders are bringing new visions and expectations. When you’re so caught in the day-to-day of work, it can be easy to lose track of these trends, but set aside time to research the updated expectations for roles similar to yours and to research shifts in industry trends.
Many organizations offer opportunities for furthering your learning and education, some even going so far as to make it a requirement. Whatever the case might be, identify a few trusted professional journals, and read them in your free time. Attend industry events, classes and workshops, particularly those related to your position. Keeping your brain fresh and using it in new, analytical ways are both great ways of furthering your professional development.
Be A People Person
Keeping up with industry trends and improving professional skills are crucial for your professional development. That said, be sure to take advantage of opportunities that allow you to develop your people management skills. Whatever your career goals might be, understanding how to communicate and handle conflict in the workplace are skills that all leaders need to be successful.
We know, we know. There are only so many hours in a day; when will you ever find the time to pursue your professional development? It can seem like a lot to handle, but remember: professional development can be a lot of fun, especially if you find opportunities that are really geared to your personal goals and needs.
COORS Healthcare Solutions is a national, boutique, solutions firm providing clients with superior C-suite and emerging leader talent. Our consulting services range from performance management to physician alignment and solving financial and operational challenges. We deliver results by partnering with our clients and developing solutions that drive your business’ success. Visit us at www.CoorsHealthcareSolutions.com to learn more.