Growth refers to a process of increment or increase of a specific stage in life. There are two types of growth in life- personal growth and professional growth. The question which comes to mind is How to maintain professional development? while growing at a personal level.
Personal growth is development and improvement in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual arenas of one’s life.
On the other hand, professional growth refers to learning and obtaining new skills and work experience that assists one to reach a goal in their career and professional life.
Learning how to maintain professional growth and development is essential since we are a part of a very dynamic society.
New trends are being introduced every day with the ever-changing job market, professional growth and development is necessary now more than ever.
Continuing Professional Development and Growth.
Continuing professional growth and development is known as the methodical supervision, progress, and broadening of knowledge, skill, and the maturation of personal qualities vital for the implementation of professional and specialized commitments throughout an individual’s working life.
This concept is relevant to professionals at all stages in their careers. It encompasses all the necessary dimensions of one’s professional life and helps in making an impact.
One of the misconceptions of Continuing Professional Development is that this concept is only relevant and applicable for the career of young professionals.
This is equally suitable even for those who are experienced and have been in a similar job role or organization for many years.
The reason for this even if one is in a role or career path which is stable and not changing or does not have any major prospects of change, the world around us is dynamic and always changing.
The subject is always evolving, whether it is new methodologies applicable to one’s area of study or new software tools released for better use.
So just supervising or maintaining expertise in a particular role requires understanding and learning new things.
Pyramid of Knowledge and Skills- Scope of Continuing Professional Development
In order to maintain professional growth and development, one needs to understand and comprehend the Pyramid of Knowledge and Skills.
The Pyramid Knowledge and Skills gives a good insight into the scope and reason to invest in professional growth and development.
At the bottom of the Pyramid is Technical Foundation. Technical knowledge and skill in any field form the foundation of the domain.
Without it, one would not be employed. As one’s career develops, inevitably, one’s detailed knowledge of the subject deepens in the relevant area of application and narrows to focus on the job role.
The assumption is that the knowledge of the area of study provides one with the foundation that enables continuing professional growth and development to refresh and extend one’s knowledge in areas relevant to the current role.
With the second last layer of Knowledge of Context, one needs to be relevant and for that one requires the knowledge of the context in which one is working.
This context knowledge involves any legal or regulatory framework that affects the sector in which one is working and any standards that are established for how work gets done.
Moving up the pyramid, to make an impact, one needs Interpersonal Skills to effectively communicate with co-workers and deliver one’s technical contribution.
Such skills are captured under the broad category of consultancy skills, influencing and negotiating, teamwork, leadership, and mentorship.
At the top of the pyramid, depending on the size and nature of the organization, there will be Processes in place to support people, deliver tasks, problem-solving, and decision-making.
So Continuing Professional Development and Growth cover developing and maintaining knowledge, skills, and experience in all of these areas.
Thus, Professional Development and Growth needs to help people, maintain professional development, focus on increasing and or maintaining technical competence, ensure that one’s contribution is relevant, have interpersonal skills, and be knowledgeable about the people and task at hand.
Activities to Maintain Professional Growth and Development
One can invest in work-based learning. This includes going out of the comfort zone and performing tasks beyond the job role and description.
Experiential learning, in-service training, secondments, and supervision are a few of the activities one can pursue.
Professional Activities include involvement in a professional body, giving presentations, hosting conferences, and networking.
This will help polish and maintain professional growth and development and stay in touch with the necessary skills.
Formal and Educational Training sessions highly contribute to professional development and growth.
This process undertakes writing articles or papers, attending training courses and scientific meetings, and gaining higher qualifications.
Self Directed Learning is a dynamic and everlasting task. It involves reading journals, reviewing books or journals, and reflective practices.
This process is required to sharpen and further develop one’s professional and personal skills to be more dexterous in their career or job role.
Being able to maintain professional development is vital. It can assist in one’s professional life and contribute a lot to personal development as well.
The will and commitment to keep learning new things in the professional arena can go a long way in this ever-changing dynamic working society.