Remember Your Professional Development by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

As a business owner, you probably spend a lot of time strategically planning, carrying out day-to-day business activities and looking for ways to increase ales and expand your brand. These are important activities, but are things that can keep us so busy that we may fail to grow in our own development.

Making your professional development a priority is important for several reasons. Staying on top of your own growth and participating in continuous learning will help you by:

  • Teaching you new methods and skills
  • Keeping your creative juices flowing
  • Allowing you to learn from other successful business leaders
  • Giving you an opportunity to network in a new setting
  • Giving you insight in to business trends

Staying on Track with Your Personal Development

Staying on top of your professional development can be tough, given your hectic schedule. The only way to ensure you keep on top of it is to schedule it in advance, making time for it on your calendar at regular intervals. One good way to do this is to create a training plan for yourself at the beginning of each calendar year.

Start by listing areas where you want training, or organizations or groups that you would like to learn from. Next, decide how much time you’re going to devote to personal development. Many business leaders aim for one class or program each month.

Next, put the events you know about for the upcoming year that you want to attend on the calendar and see what months still need to be filled in. Set reminders for yourself for both the training and to help you remember to fill in the vacant months as you see more programs become available.

Make a commitment to keep up with your professional development calendar throughout the year. It’s much easier to do when you have the time already set aside on your calendar, so look for programs regularly so that you can plan ahead for them. When you plan ahead, you’re much less likely to end up canceling due to a work emergency.

Each year, revisit programs and groups that continually provide you with learning experiences, and weed out those that have run their course in what they can teach you to leave you room for new and more beneficial opportunities.

Like many of the other commitments in your schedule, your professional development must be planned in advance and given priority in order to ensure it does not slip through the cracks. As you see the benefit from taking time out of your schedule to improve your leadership skills, you’ll be ready to make more time available for this important pursuit.