In a recent promotional interview I was asked how I would define “professional development” and what I had done of late in that regard. It occurred to me that I was so preoccupied with doing my job and attending to my family that I didn’t have a good answer. How damaging was my fumble?
I cannot speculate on how damaging your reply was, however the inquiry itself reflects an important organizational value.
Increasing workloads and fewer funds available for training and conferences (as well as hectic personal lives) can make it difficult to keep up with professional development. As with personal development, professional development is critical to your continued growth and success. It can be broadly defined as increasing knowledge and awareness of your chosen field, and expanding the tools and skill sets required for peak performance. Try and set aside at least a couple of hours weekly to read pertinent journals, magazines and books related to your field. Pursue advanced degrees and professional certificates, and attend relevant seminars and conferences when possible. The benefits in daily performance and advancement opportunities are well worth the investment.