Professional Development – can you afford not to invest in your career?
In today’s competitive work environment, professional development is a critical part of your career development. Unfortunately, it is often neglected or overlooked.
What do I mean by Professional Development?
Professional development is gaining new skills through continuing education and career training after you graduate and/or enter the workforce. It can include taking classes or workshops, attending webinars, or earning certification to expand your knowledge as a marketer or leader.
Whilst many employers offer in-house opportunities for professional development, many professional development programs are done independently. The Australian Marketing Institute offers you multiple and varied opportunities to build your marketing and business skills.
Spoiler alert: AMI will be launching a new and exciting integrated career pathways program later this year. So, keep your membership up-to-date.
Why is Professional Development Important?
Professional development is important because it has the potential to open opportunities for career advancement, such as a promotion, or a new role externally. It can assist you in honing existing skills and in learning new ones.
It can also help you stand out in a pool of applicants; showing that you have completed professional development programs or additional industry certifications on your resume can go a long way in showing your expertise in marketing and/or broader business.
Marketers who show initiative in independent learning can signal to employers that they are open to new experiences and are enthusiastic about continuing to grow as professional marketers.
Learn new skills
Through professional development, you may hone both hard and soft skills in your work. Hard skills pertain to job-specific knowledge you can obtain through formal training or education. Soft skills are personal competencies, such as effective communication or the skills that contribute to emotional intelligence.
Developing both types of skills is important to reaching your professional goals—and even some of your personal ones.
Develop Leadership Skills
A confident employee is also likely an enthusiastic employee. If you take the step to grow and develop your skills and expertise, the incentive to seek out additional opportunities can continue to expand along with it.
If you are a professional marketer who wants to advance your career but isn’t sure how to do so, professional development can encourage you to put your hand up for leadership opportunities you may not have sought out otherwise.
Find a Mentor
There is no doubt that there are considerable benefits to be gained through career-based mentoring. Being mentored by someone that’s more experienced and with a different perspective than you, rather than learning from your own experience, can accelerate your learning and development and can open up career opportunities.
Some organisations offer internal mentoring opportunities. There is no doubt a formal mentoring program, such as the AMI’s emerging marketers’ program, allows mentors and mentees to build a relationship that’s productive and beneficial to all involved.
Build Your Network
Professional development is not just about undertaking training and skills development, it also involves opportunities for networking. The AMI offers a variety of opportunities to network with other marketing professionals where you can meet new people within the marketing industry and make new connections.
These connections can lead to new opportunities, mentorship, and support which may provide the next stepping stone in your career.
Growing your career
A well-qualified employee attracts employer attention. Employees who are invested in professional development display commitment to their work and an interest in continuing to improve.
And, don’t forget, professional development can also boost your earning potential by increasing your value through obtaining credentials, certifications, and designations.
To find out more about the many professional development opportunities the AMI provides members, follow this link.
So, ask yourself this: can you afford not to invest in your career?