Jason Borrevik highlights 5 key benefits of continuing professional development
On a relentlessly fast-paced business landscape — where today’s best practices are tomorrow’s outdated approaches — continuing professional development (CPD) isn’t just critical for success, but it’s essential for the continued growth of a company or an individual. According to experienced management consultant and principal for Compensia, Jason Borrevik, here are five key benefits of CPD that all professionals should embrace and realize, regardless of their industry, sector, field, job title, or level of experience:
Acquire relevant skills and knowledge
Virtually all professionals learn throughout their careers, but many tend to do it in an informal, casual or ad hoc way. This is not because they are intellectually lazy or underestimate the importance of being skilled and knowledgeable, but simply because they are so busy. However, it is important for professionals to make the time to pursue relevant learning events on a regular basis, such as attending in-person seminars and workshops, enrolling in online webinars and courses, reading notable books and white papers, and so on. This is the best, and frankly the only, way they can acquire relevant skills and knowledge, so they move to the forefront of their respective professions versus struggle to keep up. By following through with CPD, it can also help to increase your own confidence and credibility within your industry. Jason Borrevik explains that It can be a struggle for some professionals to carve out the time to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. However, the effort is well worth it — especially since in many fields, updating one’s knowledge isn’t just a vocational priority, but is also a compliance obligation.
Increase contribution and enhance influence
CPD enables professionals to enhance the contribution they make to their teams and customers and enhance their influence throughout their organization, as they establish themselves as acclaimed thought leaders who both spot and shape issues, insights and trends. By partaking in CPD, one can become more respected and influential within their field as they are understood to have up to date knowledge of the industry. Jason Borrevik says that CPD isn’t about obtaining additional certificates or adding more acronyms to a business card or email signature. It’s about demonstrating and verifying competence and ability at the highest levels and increasing one’s capacity to be of value to all stakeholders — from colleagues in the office next door, to counterparts in organizations on the other side of the world.
Boost personal brand, job security and career prospects
Professionals who commit to a structured and relevant CPD plan do more than (as noted above) position themselves to be more valuable to colleagues and customers: they also boost their personal brand, job security, and career prospects that pave the way for well-earned promotions. Individuals who have more skills and certifications are generally more likely to be invited for interviews – and ultimately jobs -over individuals with similar experience but no certifications. Jason Borrevik notes that across today’s workforce and especially in the management and executive ranks, skilled and knowledgeable professionals who can tie strategy to execution are worth their weight in gold. Professionals who embrace CPD make an investment in themselves that has the potential to pay massive dividends throughout their career.
Expand networks to increase opportunities
Most professionals cannot readily remember what they learned in college or high school, but they can immediately recall the beneficial and lasting relationships they forged with fellow students and faculty. In the same light, professionals who journey across the CPD circuit invariably connect with peers who can be valuable — and sometimes invaluable — sources of insight, advice and opportunities to collaborate. Networking gives people opportunities they otherwise would never have had. From first opportunities at jobs to references from multiple companies, networking is one of the most invaluable skills that a person can learn and one that CPD helps to build on. Jason Borrevik states that networking is a two-way street. Just as professionals increase their roster of connections, they establish themselves as sources that can be consulted, formally or informally.
Prevent or address burnout and disengagement
It’s a familiar story that virtually all professionals experience sooner or later: the enthusiasm and energy that once fueled their professional success and personal satisfaction begins to wane and may even snuff out. Sometimes, this burnout and disengagement is due to specific events such as being part of a stressful acquisition or after a round of downsizing and corporate consolidation. Other times, this can be due to sheer exhaustion, or exacerbated by a health condition or adverse personal situation. Regardless of the root cause, CPD can help professionals rekindle their passion, recharge their battery, and remind themselves of why they entered the field in the first place. And surprisingly, it can also make them happier, too. A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that participants who spent time on activities that boosted their competence were happier over the long-term, compared to participants who did not. Jason Borrevik believes that it is not just possible, but inevitable that at least once during a person’s career they will feel overwhelmed by an ever-increasing list of tasks and responsibilities and disoriented with respect to their career momentum and trajectory. During these times, CPD can be a lifeline that, in addition to providing valuable knowledge, also delivers clarity and inspiration. It’s also an opportunity for professionals to take time out from their hectic day-to-day activities and experience the sheer joy of learning something new and valuable. The impact can be significant and, in some cases profound.
Jason Borrevik concludes that CPD isn’t a magic wand that whisks professionals from intern to C-suite or transforms disengagement into exhilaration. However, it is without question an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to building and navigating a successful, happy and fulfilling career; one that is characterized by achievements and rewards, instead of missed opportunities and regrets.