My Madrid-based friend and colleague, Corina Manea, published a thought-provoking piece recently on professional development in which she laid out a terrific roadmap for planning your route to future success.
I immediately shared it with everyone I could think of, including my Curry College COM/PR students and alums and members of the Curry College Public Relations Student Association. My Curry troops, especially, have heard me preaching this sermon for years.
Professional development, or professional education, is a crucial part of career progression. Purely and simply, you’re not going anywhere in your chosen field if you don’t demonstrate to others (aka: “your boss”) that you really are interested in what you’re doing and that you want to…and are willing to…learn more.
I’ve written about this a bazillion times myself, and I hope I demonstrate to others by my own actions that I absolutely, positively believe that you can never stop learning. I have to give a shout-out to the Public Relations Society of America and its many local chapters (for me, Boston, Hawaii, Puget Sound and, soon, Tampa Bay) for offering an amazing array of online and in-person programs each of which has added just one more tool to my professional “kit.”
Now, before you go snippily saying, “But Kirk, I’m working full-time and I have to commute, and…”
- Yes…there are only 24 hours in a day.
- Yes…you feel like if you take on one more project, you’re going to self-destruct.
- Yes…you usually have to pay for this “extra” education.
But…look around you. Look at the people in your organization who you admire.
Then ask yourself…or, better yet, ask them… “How did you get to be so successful?”
I guarantee you that, in almost every single instance, the answer is going to revolve around professional development…courses they took, training sessions they attended…you name it, they’ve probably done it.
The choice is yours. Do you want to stay in the same position with the same title and the same responsibilities at the same pay grade? Or do you want that promotion to the next level where you’re going to be able to show your boss what you really can do?!?
Promotions and recognition for accomplishments don’t fall out of the sky. They’re earned by doing. And the “doing” part comes as a result of having learned how!
So think about it, my friends. Professional development…it’s the way ‘up’ for you!