6 Ideas to Support Your Professional Development

Posted on February 7, 2018 by Shawn Friday, MEd, LPC, CEAP

Technology at Work and Professional Development

Technology is always evolving and changing, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Today’s work climate demands employees are adaptable and understand new technology in their field.  

Learning to Leap authors David Shindler and Jean Boles call out three crucial areas necessary for effectiveness at work today and in the future:

  • Communication
  • Effectively using technology
  • Numeracy (the capacity to reason with numbers to solve a variety of problems, i.e., interpreting data, information processing, logical thinking and reasoning.)

In addition to specific training in your field, these skills are helpful to remain relevant and employable. Continuing education can also help enhance your professional sense of well being. Here are some tangible ideas you can do today to maximize your career development.

Professional Development Ideas:

Have a plan.

Talk to your supervisor about expanding your skills and how you will do it. Perhaps it’s taking on new tasks or professional development activities.

Professional development options could include industry conferences/seminars, classes, obtaining an additional degree or certification, which adds value and expertise to your resume, and involvement in professional organizations, publications and websites. Professional organizations often have a variety of opportunities available in addition to attending events, such as volunteering for leadership positions and volunteering in the community.

Your plan should be written, specific and involve a fair amount of time. Mary Ellen Slayter from Monster.com says she aims for at least 2-3 hours of professional development a week. Review your plan frequently; at least twice a year.

Keep up with the latest information in your field.

Subscribe to online sources of information from experts via specific professional websites, including LinkedIn, Google Alerts or other news aggregator services such as Feedly. Find presentations at sites like TED.com (TED Talks) or YouTube. Explore useful courses on sites such as Lynda.com, Mooc List or Coursera.

Work on your “Soft Skills.”

The ability to communicate, problem solve, adapt, work well with others and manage your emotions will set the stage for doing your best work whether or not you stay in your profession. These are crucial skills for today and the future workplace.

Look for relevant courses and certifications from the sites noted above, or pick up a book about working with others, emotional intelligence or one of the books under Additional Reading.

Use resources available at VITALWorkLife.com.

As a member, you have access to resources including articles, videos, online seminars and eLearning courses. eLearning courses cover a variety of topics, can be completed in 15-20 minutes and include an online presentation, brief quizzes and a printable certificate of completion.

Network, network, network.

Connect with others who are successful in your field. Find a mentor that can be a coach for your professional development. Network with others inside and outside of your organization.

Continued vigilance about where you stand in your skill set, professional development and employability will help enhance your professional sense of well being and ensure you are prepared for today and the future.

Additional Reading:

We Can Help

By assessing and making improvements to each dimension of your well being – professional, physical, relational, emotional, spiritual and financial/legal – you are likely to secure a more complete sense of well being. Give us a call to learn more about resources available to enhance your professional well being as well as our comprehensive well being solutions for organizations.


As part of your benefit through VITAL WorkLife you have access to a wealth of information on your VITAL WorkLife App and member website, including articles, videos, eLearning courses and more. Call VITAL WorkLife to speak with a representative anytime, day or night, for the support you and your loved ones need.

  • EAP members: call 800.383.1908
  • Physician and Provider Well Being Resources members: call 877.731.3949


For more information about our comprehensive suite of well being solutions, contact us.


Slayter, Mary Ellen. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/6-tips-remaining-relevant-professionally-0203

Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace https://www.amazon.com/Stretch-Future-Proof-Yourself-Tomorrows-Workplace/dp/1119087252/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515517516&sr=1-1&keywords=stretch+how+to+future-proof+yourself+for+tomorrow%27s+workplace

What color is your parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-color-is-your-parachute-2018-richard-n-bolles/1125171896?ean=9780399579653&st=PLA&sid=NOK_DRS_NOOK+EBooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP77105&gclid=Cj0KCQiAv_HSBRCkARIsAGaSsrCvSm6ajewuCCF83BzVo7jC6OyTcMFPxZ2GSJeUeXB4T3NeCovuS6MaAmgEEALw_wcB#/

Learning to Leap: A Guide to Being More Employable https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Leap-Guide-Being-Employable-ebook/dp/B008TDCPOE/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515259525&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=staying+employable

Humility is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age https://www.amazon.com/Humility-New-Smart-Rethinking-Excellence/dp/1626568758/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515518442&sr=1-1&keywords=humility+is+the+new+smart+human+excellence+in+the+machine+age

Interested in learning more?


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