Professional knowledge of the employees is being constantly judged and compared. So how can you stay on top of the game?
Unlike studying for a qualification, the goalposts in the workplace keep moving. This might be because of new technology, customer demand, legislation or simply because there is a new chief executive with a different vision on knowledge you already have.
Some organisations are good at providing learning opportunities when they can see a direct benefit to the organisation. What’s offered, however, may not always be in line with what you really want or need for your career. So, if you want to protect your employablity, you need to take care of your personal development and constantly update your knowledge.
Upgrading your performance
What are the most difficult parts of your job?
Improving the areas you identify may mean going on a course or workshop, or you may find that mentoring, guided reading, or online study is more relevant. For example, if you know that selling skills are very important part of your job, perhaps your manager could arrange for you to follow someone with exceptional knowledge in this area.
Some professions require a certain amount of professional development every year to retain your status. Whether this is a requirement or not, make sure you’re up-to-date with what’s happening in your field, or you could lose credibility and potentially expose your company to risks. You can keep updated by reading professional journals or trade press, attending industry events, conferences, workshops or your own research. The rise of webinars, e-newsletters and online forums means it’s easier than ever to participate in learning from your office desk or at home.
Here are some other professional knowledge ideas:
• Reading professional journals, books, research papers, articles etc
• Coaching, mentoring, training courses, academic study, conferences and webinars
• Research activities, blogging and publishing articles
• Training others and giving presentations or speaking at a conference
• Spending time with other departments, customers, suppliers, trade bodies or stakeholders
• Joining committees, professional associations, campaign groups and participating in industry forums
• Applying for industry awards or scholarships
Constantly working on your knowledge may be challenging and not comfortable at all, but once it becomes a habit your career will start growing tremendously, giving you the results you could not even dream about before!