This article was originally published by Advancing Women, and authored by Michelle Redfern.
Your brilliant career is dependent on you starting, and continuing professional skills development activity. CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is the ongoing process of developing professional skills and knowledge through interactive, participation-based or independent learning.
I like to describe my brilliant career as “a journey to mastery that is never complete.” I read this saying in a management journal when I was completing my MBA. What a great way to describe both my love of learning and how I have created a soaring career for myself. Now, I am helping loads of other women to create their own brilliant career!
WHY CPD IS IMPORTANT (FOR YOUR BRILLIANT CAREER)
CPD is important because as we say in A Career that Soars! One and done doesn’t cut it. One course. One conference. One book. One article is never going to enable a woman to develop their professional capabilities to their fullest potential. Proactively and continually investing time and effort in formal, informal and self-guided learning is essential for career success.
For those of you who are in the medical, legal, finance et al professions, and/or who is a member of a professional body, you will be aware that CPD requirements will be laid out for you by the body. In my own case as a professional Non-Executive Director, I am required to evidence my CPD hours and activity to maintain membership and accreditation to my industry association, and I am sometimes required to do so for any new boards that I am invited to join.
WHAT ABOUT CPD FOR LEADERSHIP?
Leadership is a profession. In fact, leadership is my vocation. Therefore, I invest in the continuing professional development of my leadership skills and knowledge so the I can fulfil not only the duties of a leader but to also enjoy my role as a leader, mentor, guide and facilitator of developing more leaders.
Employers also increasingly expect their staff to undertake CPD, and may even measure them on it. What a terrific way to demonstrate that you are “for the business” (No Ceiling, No Walls Chapter 1) to your boss than evidencing the time, effort and commitment you are making to hone your leadership skills.
TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR CPD
Regardless of whether there is a mandatory CPD requirement or if CPD is purely discretionary, the most satisfying results are achieved by professionals who drive their own CPD. Women with careers that are soaring do not wait until there is an urgent need to satisfy professional registration requirements or until their manager points out areas for improvement.
Women who are having a career that soars do these things:
- They reflect on their strengths and use them proportionately
- The identify their skills and knowledge gaps then develop strategies about how to mitigate and manage those gaps
- They listen to and act on career advice or feedback from their manager and from colleagues
- They are alert for CPD opportunities and assess their relevance to their career plan or leadership development needs
- They devote time (and effort) to career planning and CPD planning
- They have regular discussions with their manager about aligning their CPD interests and the organisation’s needs. (Very helpful if you want your organisation to invest in your CPD!)
REFLECT ON YOUR BRILLIANT CAREER
- How many hours of CPD have you invested so far this year to develop your leadership skills and knowledge?
- What has your CPD consisted of? (Courses? Reading? Conferences? Coaching? Mentoring? Online learning? Networking?)
- How many hours of CPD will you invest from now on to develop your leadership skills and knowledge?
- What activities will your CPD plan include?
A CAREER THAT SOARS IS CPD
You can invest time, effort and money in your CPD here in A Career that Soars! Here is how:
- Read the articles posted, reflect on them and add comments or questions. Keep a record.
- Answer the questions and challenges posed by other members. Act as a peer mentor.
- Attend our Events, Live Meetups and Workshops to build your strategic network and knowledge. Keep a record of attendance.
- Level Up to a premium membership Circle: there is additional premium content such as articles with actionable insights, downloadable self-paced leadership development activities, workshops which are live and recorded, networking opportunities and our very own podcast!
- Participate in one of our short courses or group mentoring programs. Keep a record.
Yes, the journey to leadership mastery is never completed, but hey, isn’t A Career that Soars an ideal travelling companion for your brilliant career?
ABOUT A CAREER THAT SOARS!
A Career that Soars! Is a global network of career-oriented women, hosted by Susan Colantuono, Mel Butcher and Michelle Redfern. It is laser-focused on helping women enhance their leadership skills and build successful careers. There is much to learn from each other and many opportunities to contribute your knowledge and experience. Join Us.