There are many reasons why you may be looking for professional development ideas. Maybe you’ve had a lifelong goal to earn a certain job title, but you’re not there yet. Maybe you’ve learned all you can from your current role, and you’re ready for more responsibilities. Maybe your current job doesn’t allow for the kind of creativity you crave. Whatever your reason for wanting more out of your career, there are a variety of ways to invest in yourself.
What are some examples of professional development?
Conferences and Workshops
Attending conferences and workshops is an excellent way to build your knowledge and skills. EMS World Expo is an example of a multi-day conference for emergency medical services professionals to gather for hands-on training and education. EMTs, paramedics, administrators and more attend every year to learn about the latest trends in EMS.
Not only do in-person events often feature experts speaking about a variety of relevant topics, in many cases, these events are also great opportunities to build your professional network. Connecting with someone from another organization can create opportunities that you may not have considered before.
Thanks to modern technology, many large conferences also offer options for remote participation. If you don’t have the time or budget to attend a conference or workshop in person, check to see if online registrations are available.
Conferences are typically held once a year with multiple topics stuffed into a short window of time, but what can you do in the months and months between? Webinars and other online tutorials can be a great way to boost your knowledge in shorter bursts. Columbia Southern University offers webinars covering a variety of topics. For example, firefighters wishing to advance in their career can view a webinar about sparking interest in community fire prevention.
Helpful video resources are also widely available on YouTube, Vimeo and other popular channels. LinkedIn Learning, formerly Lynda.com, is a popular subscription service that offers courses taught by industry experts.
Blogs, Podcasts and Email Newsletters
Webinars and other online videos aren’t the only format for helpful professional development resources on the internet. Blogs, podcasts, email newsletters and other digital content are massive sources of wisdom.
Authors, news outlets, professional associations, niche publications and others publish and distribute original and curated content to their audiences through these methods. Chances are good that your favorite professional association, author or influencer publishes in one of these formats on a regular basis.
Earning a degree is about more than just meeting a minimum requirement on a job description; it provides critical baseline knowledge and skills for anyone looking to advance in their profession. For example, education is an important step in the path for any administrator in criminal justice. Writing skills are tied closely to leadership success in criminal justice, and earning a degree can put you on the right path.
Universities also offer certificates in addition to degrees in many cases. Certificates provide focused training within a professional specialization and usually require less credit hours to complete than degrees.
One example is in the occupational safety and health field. Certifications are critical for safety professionals who are hoping to move up in their industry. Earning the Certified Safety Professional® and Certified Safety and Health Manager designations can help an individual on their path to higher salaries and more responsibilities.