Professional Development 101: Getting Started

Professional Development 101: Getting Started

Wednesday can present itself as a bit of a rut for many professionals, as we continue to plod through the seemingly mundane tasks of our jobs and begin the countdown to Friday 5pm. This year ought to be the year that you take your career development by the wheel, focus on being stretched and challenged and seek some sort of fulfilment from your day-to-day role. The following tips should help you navigate professional development and give you some things to think about with reviews/bonus season vast approaching. 

Further Education

Depending on your industry and profession, investing in further qualifications may be useful for you decide to climb the corporate ladder. If you have a moment, check out this great episode of the My City Podcast where hosts Ire and Sam, are joined by Michael and Joy, who touch on the importance of investing in yourself as a young professional. Personally, I am a big advocate for professional qualifications as they can provide you with the necessary leverage for you to negotiate pay rises (secure the bag!) In some industries, gaining accreditation from undertaking certain qualifications can be a pre-requisite to obtain senior roles. Whether it be self-funded or sponsored by your company, it is definitely something worth considering. Managing private study, working full-time, staying fit, looking good and having some sort of social life is extremely difficult but that is adult life for you, it is challenging but you will reap the rewards in due time. Once I have completed my own qualifications, I will share more on how I managed to do it all (by God’s grace!)

Podcast: MyCityPodcast - Subscribe and leave them a review!

Podcast: MyCityPodcast - Subscribe and leave them a review!

Networking and leveraging your connections 


By nature, I am an extremely reserved person and entering a room full of people does cause my heart to race (not in a good way!) and a lump in my throat, however, you need to put yourself out there in order to get what you want. It all boils down to personal branding. How do you want to come across in spaces with your peers? It goes without saying, when you go to a networking event, follow up with the people that you meet. Don’t just collect their cards for fun. If you meet someone that you would like to connect with and work with in future, do your bit in pursuing that relationship! You never know, the next person you meet at an industry event could assist you in levelling up and getting a new role. Challenge yourself to networking a lot more this year!

Utilise social media


Social media can be your best friend or honestly your worst enemy (I will save that discussion for another day!) but there are a wealth of knowledgeable professionals online that you can definitely tap into. There are mixed views out there concerning the importance of LinkedIn, however, I think it is a fantastic platform for you to follow industry news and to see what your peers are up to. I am a massive advocate for approaching senior professionals within your industry to hear more about their journey and also to gain advice when it comes to navigating the market.

Final Words:
It all ultimately boils down to mindset, if you consider a few of the above points and have a genuinely positive approach to your development, you will see some sort of change in your career trajectory. Whilst the above does not aim to be an exhaustive list, I do hope that the above provides a great starting point for you to think about your own professional development. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts in this series and do not forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter, where I will be sharing events you should be attending, books you should be reading and everything in between!