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Lifelong Professional Learning

What does professional development look like once you enter the work force?

In some disciplines, professionals need to earn continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure (e.g., engineering, social work, architecture or counseling). Requirements will vary by state. Failure to earn the minimum amount of credits each year can result in revocation of one's license. 

Many businesses view professional development as a critical, ongoing process to grow employees' knowledge, skills, and abilities. Not just about the latest technology and industry trends, but also employees' transferable skills, in the areas of communication, team building, project management, and organizational leadership.

As an employee, you will directly benefit from professional development because your job performance should improve, which may position you for advancement in the organization.

Don't be passive about professional development! If your company or organization does not provide regular PD opportunities, then inquire about the possibility of attending a professional conference. If there's no money for travel, take advantage of free, open source courses from reputable universities around the world. Whatever you do, never stop learning.

Best advice: Continually reflect on your professional successes and challenges. Analyze your performance reviews. Ask yourself, "What transferable skills do I need to refine in order to become a more effective leader and team member?"

Then pull out your Individual Professional Development Plan and set new goals for self improvement.