Whether you’re just starting your career, have been in your industry for over a decade, or have achieved a leadership role after years in the trenches, continuing professional development is critical to your continued success.
Here’s an example: when you need medical care, do you want to see a doctor who hasn’t cracked a medical text since s/he finished residency? Or would you rather see an MD who views continual medical training as part of their practice?
How about if you need an attorney? Would you be happy to work with a lawyer who hasn’t studied recent case law, or would you rather find a legal eagle who’s made a point of getting and keeping an expert-level knowledge base?
Training is critical in any field, not just law and medicine. Ongoing professional development – keeping your skills up-to-date, and sharp – guarantees your continued employment. If you’re running a business, making sure your team’s skills stay current is a key competitive advantage.
If you’re seeking career growth, an important part of your annual plan for 2012 should be surveying your skill-set and determining where you’ve got gaps that might prevent you from moving up in your organization, or landing a great opportunity in another company. What do you know, what do you need to learn, and what could add value for both your career and the company you work for, or want to work for?
If you’re leading a team – as a manager, or as a business owner – what skills are critical for fulfilling your commitment to your customers? Are there trends developing in your industry that you can take a lead on with some new skills? Who on your team has the capability to stretch with some additional training?
As you prepare your annual plan for 2012, be sure to include a skills survey – for yourself, for your team, for your organization. Take what you learn from that skills survey and match it up with trends in your industry, and with potential growth opportunities for your career or your company. Where can you take the lead? Where are the gaps that can be filled with some targeted training and professional development?
The answers to those questions can fire some significant growth and opportunity for you and for your company. If you need some help with either a skills assay, or training your team to compete and win in your marketplace, we can help. We offer training in several skill-set areas, and can also give you guidance on industry trends in technology and creative services.
What’s between your ears is your key to success in the knowledge economy – and what’s between the ears of your team is critical to your company’s success, no matter your industry. Train your brains regularly to stay competitive in 2012, and beyond.