Professional Deveopment Matters

By | May 25, 2011

by Jennifer Fong

As you read this, I’m packing up and heading off to BlogWorld in New York. I’m super excited to be attending this conference. It’s been a goal for several years, and I finally made the time.

And as I thought about this, I realized it’s something we all do. We get so busy with our businesses (and our lives) that we neglect one of the most important parts of our business…professional development. Growing professionally is what allows you to make more money. Sure, you have to pay for it. But when you select the right professional development, it pays for itself many times over.

We have to plan for the long term if we want to build a long term business. Doing what you are doing well now will only take you so far. There are always new ideas, new ways of doing things, new technology…the list goes on. Folks who stay stagnant and stuck will miss the boat.

And that’s why I’m going to BlogWorld. This year part of my strategic plan was to invest in professional development. To get out of my office and my usual meetings, and get somewhere that I could learn and grow and be inspired.

I highly recommend that you invest in your professional development too. The place to start is your company’s National Conference. The experience you gain there cannot be matched. It is worth every penny you spend, as you gain tools and techniques that will help you build your business even better. Get there.

And then focus on other areas of your business too. Where do you see the need to grow? Is it technology? Then find a technology coach. Is it Hostess coaching or follow-up skills? Find out who your company recommends for that. Some great trainers include Mary Christensen, Julie Anne Jones, Belinda Ellsworth, Karen Phelps, and Jane Deuber. There are many more. But focus on finding mentors who will guide you. Of course you start with the training your company provides. But never, never stop learning. It’s what will help you take your business to the next level.

And I’ll even go so far as to say that you MUST do some of your learning in person. Don’t expect to learn it all on your computer. People learn in different ways, and you must attend conferences and team meetings to grow.

How do you grow professionally? What are your favorite resources? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below. 

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