The definition of professional growth will be different things for different people but it certainly means more than certificates on the wall.
Performance Expert Bill Eckstrom “it’s the development or better use of talents and skills that lead to improved outcomes. This development can take place in many different places – on the job or [in] off-the-job environments.
On the job can be the result of experiential learning, coaching relationships, classroom, etc. However, too often people view professional growth as something that is only on the job, but it is not. For example, one of our executive leaders became a certified yoga instructor, and we have all benefited from her growth. She is more calm under fire, she has taught us more patience, and she is a better overall coach”.
There is the intentional and the unintentional plan.
One happens to you, the other is dictated by you.
The professional growth plan should start with understanding where you are now, where you want to go and how to get there.
It should be a mixture of the personal and the professional and to be most effective, it should start with the finish in mind.
A crucial first step is to understand your own career purpose, what drives you and motivates you and what role(s) do you aspire to achieve in the future. What career path will enable you to achieve your optimal working experience?
Once you have an understanding of what you want the future to look like, you can start to reverse engineer the steps required.
Without this self awareness your career can head off into various rabbits hole as you increase the potential of taking the wrong roles, at the wrong time and with the wrong people.
Some or all of that combination, will not make you a happy bunny.
If you’re not focused on that ultimate career road map then you also risk the possibility of missing the professional growth opportunities that emerge through your career and which can provide you with the stepping stones required for executing your life and career plan.
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