Professional Development

In a society focused on brand-building and an economy increasingly based on employee skills, you are the most valuable piece. As a professional, regardless of your current employment status there is inherent value in building a professional brand of you. There are four easy ways to do so:

1. Get Certified.This professional development might mean a new certification or a re-certification in some skill. These certifications often require classes, studying time, and exams so it indicates that you know your stuff.
2. Learn a totally new, up-and-coming skill. Go online and learn something that’s up and coming in your industry. There are plenty of free-learning tools from books, to Coursera, to magazines, to YouTube that will give you a head start on a new skill. This can be something that you have just heard talked about, noticed on jobapplications, or read about online.
3. Attend a conference in your industry. Find a close conference and attend to hear from speakers, attend workshops, and meet other industry players.
4. Networking. This is the most basic and any other development will alway include networking. Connect with old coworkers, update your LinkedIn, attend an alumni event, and find a mentor to increase professional development.

There are many benefits to your Professional Development:

1. You stay up to date in skill sets. By continuing your professional development you an guarantee that your skills are keeping pace with the changes in jobs and technology. This keeps you up to date with some of your younger peers and the increase in skills leads to an increase in employee value.

2. Re-certification matters. If you are in an industry that requires certification getting re-certified or obtaining new certification to better fit the changing job roles is a great way to increase professional development. It will ensure you maintain your efficiency and uphold the standards of the company and industry.

3. Connections. Regardless of your career, connections are incredibly important. They could be your next boss, co-founder, or sale and the more quality connections you know the better. Professional Development utilizes networking and it will always expand yours. These connections can prove invaluable and can always increase your professional brand.

This is increasingly important. Take a break from the brand you work for and build the most important one; yourself.