Happy Saturday Reader. A common question from our clients is what professional development activities they should pursue. Usually, they are thinking in terms of formal learning. In today’s < 3min read, I give you a re-frame of that question. Also, we’ve been busy developing and adding resources to better serve you. Today, I share a link to the 4-Step Elevate Your LinkedIn Profile Guide.
3 Questions to Reveal Your Professional Development Priorities
Wondering what professional development you need to pursue to perform in your role, achieve career growth and succeed in your goals? Use these three questions to determine what’s important.
I frame professional development in the context of capability. You have a whole host of professional capabilities that enable you to perform in your current work, influence your ability to get ahead professionally and drive your relevance in the marketplace for future opportunities.
Planning and building your professional capability is an essential element in managing your career and one of the five pillars in my career growth model.
The Four Categories of Professional Capability
Job Skills & Knowledge: The technical skills and knowledge and functional expertise required to perform your role. Technical refers to your mastery of tools, methods, processes, standards and unique knowledge in your field. Functional refers to the tasks and competencies required in your organizational function (sales, marketing, HR, finance, etc.).
Leadership Competencies: As a manager or leader, your level of capability in leading, organizing, influencing, coaching, creating, developing, presenting, and pitching are drivers of the value you bring to your current role (your effectiveness in achieving organizational objectives) and signals for your readiness to take on bigger roles.
Load Capacity: A more nuanced capability is how well you handle your current load and your demonstrated readiness to take on more - more complexity, more responsibility. It might be P&L or budget, team size, market responsibility, deal size, project leadership, or strategic, company-wide involvement. This is both developed through experience and demonstrated through how you handle what’s on your plate now.
Personal Brand & Market Skills: Often overlooked but essential to further your professional goals. From skills and confidence in professional networking to effectively representing yourself in the market to executing smart career moves. Not mastering these effectively hobbles your potential. Building and practicing these skills are critical to your career success and well-being.
The 3 Questions that Uncover Your Professional Development Priorities
So, where do you put your time and attention? Ask yourself the following three questions:
Where is the Risk?: Are there any capabilities in which I’m currently underperforming or at risk? This applies to your current role and profession and you as an actor in the talent marketplace.
How do I increase my Value?: What capability could I add or upgrade to enhance my value? This applies to your work and how you represent yourself in the market (if you’re not communicating your value, then it is invisible to your target market).
What do I need to acquire or become to move towards my desired Future: Based on my professional goals, what is the next level of development, or what is expected/required and of value at the next level?
Once you identify areas to work on, create a realistic learning plan, prioritize the activity and make it happen. You’ll increase your capabilities through:
How will you level up for the coming year Reader?
Resource: One key capability is your professional identity. Confident that Your LinkedIn Profile Creates the Impression You Need to Lead in Your Job & Succeed in Your Goals? Get the 4-step LinkedIn guide.
CEO & Chief Career Strategist - Bold Career