Professional development: success factor in the job

In times when the demands placed on us are constantly changing, professional development is no longer just desirable, but even necessary if you want to achieve certain professional goals. Articles about this can be found on numerous blogs and. There are countless offers for professional development. Elizabeth Harrin takes up this topic on the website and shows different types of professional development that she believes are easy to achieve. By "easy" she means that these trainings and development programs on the one hand take very little time and on the other hand fit into a very tight budget. For all those for whom professional development is important, it is worth taking a look at Elizabeth Harrin's suggestions.
A small piece of timber with an illustrated target and arrow in the centre is presented to the camera.

Why is professional development so important?

First of all, she addresses the question of why professional development is so important and what is actually meant by professional development. Anything that develops professional skills is considered professional development. As a project manager, this can be a seminar or course on how to set up a schedule with a particular computer program, or a seminar on leadership or efficient time management. Further development can also take the form of YouTube videos during the lunch break, if they are videos that teach good technical content. Further training thus includes formal professional training, informal learning, participation in group activities and learning by doing, i.e. learning during a project. Your own further development is not only an advantage if you are looking for a new position (be it in the company or elsewhere) but also if you are satisfied with your position. More and better skills make your work easier and progress possible.

Accomplish goals

To achieve his development goals, Elizabeth Harrin advises him to draw up a plan. Whether you want to get an MBA or you need to be more confident: every goal can be achieved with a development plan. All you need to do is ask yourself what your short and long-term career goals are and then develop a strategy to get there.

How does career development work?

Many paths of further development require effort, sometimes more, sometimes less. But many do not. Elizabeth Harrin gives a number of examples that do not require much effort and will help you advance professionally. For example, writing a work diary. Write down daily or at least weekly how your work is progressing. What has worked well, what has not? List your goals and write down where you have made progress and where not. If this seems too much work or strange to you, just take half an hour at lunchtime one day a week to think about what you would write in an imaginary diary. Elizabeth Harrin believes that writing down these thoughts makes sense, if only because without writing them down, after eight weeks you hardly know what you were thinking about then. But for some people thinking may be enough. Ask yourself each time where you see yourself in five years time and whether you are on the right track for this goal.

Many roads lead to Rome

Feedback is another method for continuous development. Get regular feedback from your manager or your team. Inform a specific group of people about your goals and benefit from independent judgment. Choose people you trust and who you are sure are telling you the truth. Networking can also be very helpful. You are not the networking type? Then take small steps. Talk to a new person every week, in your company, on the bus, on Linkedin, at a seminar or at an event. Just the exercise of consistently keeping this up and slowly but persistently building a network is a way of personal development.

The next suggestion is a bit more complex: go to a conference or event every now and then. Follow invitations from companies who present their products or provide information about certain techniques. At these events you always learn something and they are an excellent opportunity to meet people from the industry. Very often these types of events are free. You could also join a group, either online or in real life. Look for people who have similar interests on a professional level and join their groups. The easiest way to do this is probably online. If you're a member, you should check the group at least twice a week, review posts, and occasionally share something that stimulates discussion. This leads directly to the next point: Read! Read professional articles in forums, magazines and on online platforms. If you find something interesting, try to delve deeper into the subject matter. The really detailed information is often not found on blogs but in books.


Last but not least, Elizabeth Harrin discusses the possibility of certification. Certification as a project manager can be a decisive milestone in her career. If you want to stay in your job and not change, you may not consider it necessary at first. But even when it comes to internal decisions, managers with a certification are often preferred. Take a look at the possibilities. Show the whole world what you can do and have your skills and abilities confirmed. Many customers and employers are easier to convince with a certification and therefore trust you more.
Are you interested in certification in project management? Here you will find an overview of our certification levels.

Author: IAPM intern

Keywords: Personal development, Certification, Further training

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