3 ways to continue your professional development

Professional development is not just about getting a promotion or enrolling in a course. It's an ongoing process that, regardless of whether you're in the market for a new job now or in the future, will ultimately help you along the road to your dream career. Here are three ways you can continue your professional development right now, and ensure you're in the prime position to take hold of new opportunities when they come by:

Seeking out extra responsibility and improving your performance in your current job can be a big boost to your professional development.

1. Work on your current performance

A common mistake among many people is to fixate too much on the next step in their career, rather than on where they are right now. In spite of whether your present job is your ultimate goal, improving your performance can go a long way towards making you a more accomplished and well-rounded professional in the long run.

The Guardian advises identifying the aspects of your performance you could do better in, and seeking mentorship, learning resources and opportunities to practice and get better. In doing so, you will not only gain new skills, but will likely secure a great reference from your current boss if you decide to move on in the future.

2. Actively look for extra responsibility

Similarly, there are more ways to expand your skills and experience than by undertaking formal study. Consider going out of your way to volunteer for extra tasks and special projects, and be prepared to put in the extra work when it's needed. This will allow you to branch out of your current responsibilities and gain new knowledge and skills that could come in handy later in your career. Not to mention how impressed your boss will be by your initiative on the job!

Developing your transferable skills will help you stand out when searching for new opportunities.Developing your transferable skills will help you stand out when searching for new opportunities.

3. Identify and advance your transferrable skills

In many cases, it is transferrable skills, rather than specialised or technical ones, that allow you to bridge the gap to a new role or move up the hierarchy. Regardless of your profession, soft skills such as teamwork, leadership and problem solving are always much desired by employers. The University of Missouri recommends identifying the transferrable skills needed for your dream job, as well as analysing the scope your current skills to ensure you're ready to adapt to new opportunities.

By being proactive and seeking chances for professional development in your daily work life, you'll be able to make the most of all your experience and equip yourself for future success.

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