An educated approach to personal & professional development

An educated approach to personal and professional developmentTaking an educated approach to personal and professional development can greatly benefit individuals who love to learn. Continuing education, embracing change and being open to new information should be part of the core foundation of your personal and professional development mindset.

Ongoing personal and professional development can help you significantly grow as an individual as you invest in “self” related activities or skill-based training that may increase your awareness and knowledge, push you out of your comfort zone, build confidence and make you more capable of handling situations in and outside of a corporate environment.

Other than training provided in the workplace, if it’s been a while since you got into an official study groove there are loads of different ways to get started.

If you want convenience of accessing personal and professional development training anytime other than books, consider an environmentally friendly, non-paper based option like online courses or eBooks.

And it’s important to remember, even online learning can benefit from the human touch.

Since the advent of the Internet and smartphones, we’ve become a more intelligent, connected society. With technology as the enabler, we now have access to vast amounts of data and content to trawl, mine and absorb 24/7. But as we all know too well, not all content is great content. It pays to carefully research topics from a wide variety of sources to gain a broader perspective.

There is a plethora of vocational and skill development training available online for personal and professional development. Some is in the form of online courses, blogs or served up via websites, newsletters, podcasts and subscription-based services. With so much information and content at different prices and varying degrees of quality, how do you choose what’s right for you?

Look at a personal and professional development as a sequence of learning opportunities that you can build on.

Firstly, be clear on what you want to study and your realistic budget. For example, you’re not going to enrol in an advanced level web development course if you have no idea about basic HTML coding. Most courses should outline minimum skill prerequisites. See what best fits your training need and budget. Also, choose a timeframe that you can commit to.

Look for reputable firms or individuals with a solid track record and positive feedback. Be thorough when researching reviews because some can be ‘paid’ and a reviewer may not disclose. If possible, find locals who’ve done the training and see if you can connect directly to get their perspective. Scour the web for any negative comments and closely analyze the service offering to ensure the content and promised outcomes meet your training requirements. Be mindful of credentials offered and whether they hold any weight in the real world.

What's your learning style?

With most online courses, they are exactly that – educational content delivered online. Course material is typically offered in online modules and may provide participants additional forms of interaction via student forums, groups or Q&A sessions. It sounds like an obvious comment to make, but it’s important to understand your own learning style. What you’ll ultimately find, despite all of the benefits that online courses bring, is there is rarely an opportunity to actually speak to someone.

When you’re considering personal and professional development think about how you like to learn and what best suits your personality type. Do you prefer a blended learning solution with online and in-person training, verbal communication or the chance to meet and connect with peers and your trainer in real life?

In an online learning environment sometimes even the most carefully crafted questions designed to guide you through a scenario may not necessarily help you advance, particularly if you get stuck on an unfamiliar topic and searching online leaves you frustrated and confused.

If you like verbal communication and prefer to have a direct conversation about your personal and professional objectives consider hiring a coach. You could do this in addition to other training or without. It really depends on what your needs are.

Working with a professionally trained coach can be life-changing. It’s also critical to find the right coach to work with. Look closely at the coach’s professional background, career experience, ethos, skills, niche or area of specialty. Ask friends for referrals and closely research your prospective coach’s qualifications.

Let’s get clear on coaching, what a coach is and isn’t, what to expect, and when you should and shouldn’t hire one.

Hiring a professional coach

Now that we have covered personal and professional development, coaching and working with a coach, contribute in the comments section with your personal experience.

What are your thoughts on this topic?  Leave your feedback below and share if it resonates. Or connect with me to explore further. I’d love to hear from you!

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2 thoughts on “An educated approach to personal & professional development

  1. I think you make some great points here, Janelle. It’s important to make smart choices because it can be so easy to never feel that you know enough. I also think it’s really important to be intuitive and seek out courses, resources, and coaches that feel right – not just what everyone else seems to be doing.

    1. Wholeheartedly agree Katherine, and with so many options out there, choice can be overwhelming. It pays to research but ultimately go with your intuition (for coaches and courses!). Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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