In the competitive world we are living in these days, everybody should aim for professional development. Whether you want to start a business of your own or are looking for a promotion in your current job, professional training and professional development would benefit you in your path.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the benefits of professional development, let’s define what professional development means.
What is Professional Development?
Professional development refers to improving your skills, talent, and expertise in your area or field of interest. It comes in different forms like professional training classes, improving your skills on your own, hiring professional coaches, and taking coaching sessions with them, working with career specialists, or simply taking digital courses that enhance your skills in a specific field.
Professional development has become all the more critical as the world gets more and more specialized. Gone are the days when one person could learn so many different skills at the surface and apply for different kinds of positions to get a job. These days, companies give more preference to prospects with specialized skill sets. Someone who is a jack of all but master of none has less value than an expert in one specific kind of skill.
For example, a web developer who has mastered most programming languages and is an expert in coding has much more value than someone who can vaguely create web designs and logo designs, make thumbnails, prepare Powerpoint presentations, and edit videos at the same time. The latter person might need to work on his professional development to increase his chances of getting a higher-paid job. On the other hand, the web developer can simply get hired at a higher pay by a larger organization without going through any professional training. He already possesses skills with a high value for any organization looking for professional website development and maintenance.
What is the Purpose of Professional Development?
The primary purpose of professional development for anyone is to either directly increase their income or indirectly increase the chances of earning a higher income in the near or foreseeable future. This could manifest in many different ways.
Companies offer professional training to their employees, committing to increase their salary if they pass the training program. Others even provide certification upon successful completion of the training program to further motivate the staff to pay attention and take full benefit from the classes. The certification can either come from the hiring organization itself or some other outsourced firm that develops and sells training programs for the professional development of human resources in their respective industry. The certification entities can also be from overseas, and participating in their professional training increases the value and enhances the skills set of the trainees to a greater extent. Either way, the purpose of professional development through such means is to get the participants to a higher-income and better-salaried place in their careers.
Many individuals work on their professional development on their own. So many digital courses are available on the internet these days that teach different kinds of skills. Some of these are free of cost, while others are paid. The more valuable online courses usually come with a price. You can go through these courses to either improve a skill you already possess or learn an entirely new skill that you feel can open up more opportunities for your career development. The purpose of taking on such digital training courses is also to open doors for yourself to make more money. Some individuals start working as freelancers after learning a particular skill and take on small tasks and projects from their online clients in the beginning. If fate is on their side and they keep working on their professional development with patience and persistence, their freelancing efforts lead them to bigger projects and clients. This ultimately enables them to build a sustainable stream of income for themselves. Many freelancers like this have been able to start a full-fledged business like this.
What are the Benefits of Professional Development?
Now that we know why people primarily strive for professional development, let’s summarize the benefits of professional development in bullet points so that you can grasp a complete understanding of this concept.
Below are the 6 main benefits of professional development.
1. It Can Land You a Better Job
Many people are not fully happy or satisfied with their job or the company environment they work in. They dream of being able to get a better job in a better organization. But at the same time, they cannot quit their current job because the salary from that job is paying all their bills. If only they could take out the time to work on their professional development, they could open doors for themselves to new job opportunities.
If the organization they are working in does not provide opportunities to go through professional training, they would have to find the time after their working hours to work on their skills. It is a tiring struggle to work on your professional development when your career seems to be stuck at the same level for many years, but nevertheless, it is worth a try.
2. It Can Get You Promoted to a Better Position in the Same Company
When you can perform better than your boss’s expectation in the organization you are hired for, you have increased chances of getting promoted to a higher salaried position in the same company. A higher position means more authority and more responsibilities. That’s why to get promoted in most companies, you are required to go through some kind of professional development first before you can be trusted for the new position. Some organizations may formally offer you courses or test tasks to participate in, while in other firms, you will have to personally and privately work on enhancing your skills.
Getting promoted in the company you are working for is usually a major milestone in your career development. However, building an independent stream of income for yourself is a more significant milestone.
3. It Can Enable You to Start a Side Business
The best thing about learning new skills or improving your existing skills is that you can offer services to anyone in the world who is looking for someone with those skills. Even when employed in a firm as a full-time employee, you can spend your weekends or evening hours marketing your services to clients willing to hire freelancers or remote workers. Depending on the mental and physical energy you have, you can take on as many mini-projects as you can get. You can also set your prices to be more competitive than those firms that hired in-house staff for the same jobs.
This is how professional development can help you build a side income for yourself. A side business is always started with skills and services that you find fun to learn and deliver.
Thus, starting a side business is good for your career and adds fun to your monotonous routine. You finally begin to realize what you are passionate about and direct your energy to enhance those skills. When your clients see your enthusiasm for delivering your services to them, they get satisfied and can recommend you to others. This makes it easier for you to get more and more clients.
4. It Can Build and Grow Your Professional Network
As you work with others on your professional development path, you get to meet many new people and build connections with them. Whether you make connections through social media or in person, this path helps you grow your professional network. Having a more expansive network helps have more and easier access to career development opportunities.
People in your network can also open up business opportunities for you. Many people meet up on random occasions, explore each other’s interests and skills, and team up to start a business together where they can utilize and complement each other’s expertise.
5. It Can Ultimately Allow You to Start a Business
As mentioned in our previous point, working on your professional development can ultimately start your own business. There are a few basic things you need if you plan to create your own business.
Create a brand for your business by coming up with a proper brand name, logo, tagline, and theme.
Prepare some marketing content, such as explainer videos and landing page content, to post on social media and other platforms.
Build a professional website to represent your brand and your business
Promote your services using outreach activities as well as paid advertising.
Continue growing your professional network to convert your audience into your clients.
If you want to build a website for your business, create a free account on Strikingly and create your website yourself. While we take care of all the technical issues associated with running your site, you can continue working on your professional development and increasing your income or revenue.