TL;DR: Professional development allows you to seek out your dream job and get closer to your best life. Simply by investing in interesting books or signing up for a few courses, you can expand your career or grow your business. There is no reason to stagnate when there is such a wealth of information out there.
Mondays are your favorite day. Seriously. You have a rhythm that works for you and you breeze through your morning routine, knock out all the items on your to-do list, and even have some free time to work on passion projects.
Just when you think life couldn’t get any better, that tiny little niggle happens in the pit of your belly. You try to ignore it at first. Why should you pay it any heed? Life’s good, right? No, wait, life’s fantastic! But that slight tension won’t go and you know it all too well. You’re in your comfort zone.
It’s tempting to put it on the backburner and enjoy smooth sailing for just a while longer. But you know you want it. You want the growth, the excitement, and the challenge. You miss it. You crave it.
Why professional development?
The rut. The impasse. Call it what you will. if you’re starting to tick off items on your professional to-do list, you come to the realization that your list needs a few new additions. But here’s the fun bit: This time around, you can do things that allow you to live your best rich life.
Stick with us!
Professional development is about more than just winning accolades and achieving doctorates. It’s about saying yes to the things that you want in your life and no to things that suck. But there’s also career relevance. If this is in pursuit of a new career, it’s a leg-up to getting noticed by the companies you want on your radar.
This is the time for you to develop your knowledge or skillset in the professional arena. Professional development can be part of the job description in order to renew their license, such as estate agents. It can also be a personal decision to grow in certain areas in order to move up the corporate ladder.
Up your professional game
When Ramit was a kid, his mother drilled him for two hours after school to become an ace at spelling. Other parents worked even harder to enable their children to become school or district (yes dare we say, even national!) champions. While learning experiences may be different for everyone, student achievement relied heavily on the amount of effort that went into the development of those skills.
We’re not saying ask your mom to drill you for two hours after work each day in order for you to reach your professional development goals. Although technically, that might not be such a bad idea.
Other ways to reach those goals include:
Read the heck out of topics that will encourage growth
Want to get into shape? Get your hands on material on the market by the best in the industry. We’re talking books, books, and more books. Whether you’re ordering a hardcover off Amazon or simply signing up for the audio version with Audible, you need to consume books like crazy. Books are a cheap investment into professional development material that could be the catalyst to the next biggest thing. A book by Jay Abrahams inspired a business idea and Ramit was able to generate $100,000 in one month!
Ramit has a famous rule, the Ramit Book-Buying Rule that states if a book even looks remotely interesting, buy it. You can fuss about the dollars and cents later, as that book might just contain a life or career-changing idea.
Sign up for a free course
Sites such as Skillshare and Udemy are filled to the brim with useful courses. Some of them you don’t even have to pay a cent for! (Excuse us while we recover from the hellish student loan debt we had to pay off before eLlearning was a thing).
Invest in yourself
Sure the free stuff is great, but sometimes, professional learning requires a bit more than a free course. If you’re finding it hard to justify the decision, it’s important to invest in yourself. The right investment in a course could lead to better-paying clients, a better job, a salary increase, or even a business idea that might explode into the next biggest thing. If there is a chance that it will get you closer to your rich life, it’s worth considering.
Find a mentor
Sometimes you buy a book and the book is just so great that it leads to a mentorship program worth $15,000. According to Ramit, he would easily pay ten times that amount for the course he did with Jay Abraham.
A mentor allows you a glimpse into the daily habits and routines of those who are consistently great at what they do. Those who have reached the top of their game might not share all the steps they take and the habits they form to reach their goals.
A mentor bridges that gap to greatness and is also better equipped to provide technical assistance with real-life issues as they pop up. For instance, if you’re looking at gaining muscle to enter a higher weight class in your boxing career, a mentor who has already been through the same, and has worked with others just like you.
Participate in professional development workshops
One of the best ways to stay on track with your professional development is by joining a community of like-minded people. Working through course material, staying on track with assignments, and creating study groups are far easier when you’re learning with others. It creates a sense of accountability.
Professional development does not stop with your courses
An essential component of professional development is continuous learning through various platforms. If you want to take your professional development to the next level, enter your information below for instant access to my free Master class with B.J. Fogg, best-selling author of Tiny Habits. We’ll show you B.J.’s unconventional approaches to continue to improve himself to land the best speaking engagements, and get national recognition.