Networking for Professional Development
Continuing professional development is important to advancement in virtually all business endeavours.
That’s why a networking environment which proactively supports professional development should be one of your top career goals.
The right networking environment can help your professional development
If professional development is important to you, look for a networking environment which goes beyond simply providing a platform for networking and provides resources to help you learn about things like:
- emotional intelligence
- the power of authentic praise
- personality types
- the art of asking the right questions, etc.
Frequently you have probably observed that the people who get ahead are those with the best ‘people skills’ or ‘soft skills’. The good news is that these can be learned and practised in a great networking environment.
Most networking environments provide ample opportunities to practice your people skills. In addition, some networking environments provide resources which can help a great deal in this important area.
If we accept that ‘who we know’ is just as important, if not more important, than ‘what we know’, then it is vital that we deliberately learn how to develop Know, Like & Trust relationships.
Do you have a Professional Development Plan?
A professional development plan (PDP) is a good tool to have. It will help you to assess where your career is currently and identify your goals for the future.
If networking is a skill that you want to improve, you can include it in your PDP as a goal and set out a strategy to grow your knowledge and skills in this area. For example, “find a mentor who can connect me with the right networking events”.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself so you can start working on your own PDP:
1. What have you been doing to progress your professional development?
2. What professional skills do you have?
3. Where do you want to be in 5 years’ or 10 years’ time?
4. What professional skills do you need to achieve your goals?
5. Are the steps to achieve your goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely?
Continuing professional development
Investing time and effort into your networking skills is important in terms of continuing professional development. You never know who you will meet or what opportunities may come your way unless you make a point of going to networking events and practising your soft skills consistently.
Decide you want to grow with purpose, and build your own network. Complete the form below & we'll help you find an event.
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On a scale of 1 - 10, how important are the following to you? (1 - Not important, 5 - neutral, 10 - extremely important)
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