Well now is the time for performance reviews! Many employers and employees are scrambling to meet with managers and develop a 6 month or 1 year plan for goals and objectives while reviewing those from the last year. The hope is that employees will have attained their goals from last year or will have at least remembered them – this is most likely not the case!
Along with performance this is a great time to begin thinking about career goals and what you personally want to gain in the upcoming months. It’s time to think about professional development.
Most people have different ideas of what professional development looks like. Some employees will say that professional development is in person training and conferences, others will say it is a new project and new job duties, while others will say it includes the availability of various e-learnings. What’s really frightening are the instances when employees do not have a good idea of what professional development is and what kind of opportunities they want and have available at their place of employment.
What does professional development mean to you? Do you see opportunities currently in your work place?
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself if you need help identifying ways to grow your skills and identify development opportunities.
1. What specific skills or experiences do you want to gain in the next 6 months? (Limit the answer to this question to 5 in order to focus on the most important)
2. Ideally, what would be you process to gaining these skills or experience?
3. Are there any potential barriers to getting the skills/experiences?
4. What are yoru ideas to overcome these barriers?
5. Why do you want to gain these skills/experience and how will they affect your career and benefit your employer?
Professional development and performance should tie in perfectly together and should be continually thought about. As an employee your thoughts should be focused on your own development and what you can do to achieve your goals. Good managers will want to help you achieve your goals, but this is something you will drive yourself. Performance is also something that you as an employee will drive, however performance is something that your direct manager will typically look at to ensure key job objectives are being met. My hope is that you will be encouraged to identify and proactively seek out opportunities to grow your career.