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Do You Have a Business Case for Pursuing Professional Development?

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Everyone knows about personal development plans and self-improvement plans but what about professional development?  Advancements in technology, techniques, methodology and information take place rapidly and the skills or knowledge that you had learned earlier put you in danger of being made redundant unless you keep upgrading your skills and enhancing your knowledge. This does not mean going out and signing up for all the training programmes that your organization offers or that appears in advertisements whether you read them in the newspapers or receive email alerts.

It means recognizing a potential competency gap, upgrading existing skill sets or learning new skills to keep up with the world and your career goals.

We all have career goals whether long term ones like retiring wealthy at 50 or becoming  the CEO of our organizations within 5 years to simpler short term ones  like getting promoted at the next appraisal round or being made project leader for career enhancing assignments.  They all require professional development.

Once you know your career goal, which should be SMART, compare your present skills and experience to that which is required for successful goal achievement. Honestly look at your present situation and determine if there are gaps in what you need to be able to do and what you are able to do.  In other words identify the skill gaps requiring to be covered by further professional development. Some questions would be:

 

Do I need to upgrade my qualifications or education?

Do I need to master or upgrade a particular set of skills?

Do I need to ask for more experience in my own department or approach my Manager for a short term secondment?

Are there in-house training programmes that can cover my requirements or external ones that fit my need?

How much would the upgrade or new skills cost?

Would I be willing to invest in myself? 

It often helps to talk to your immediate supervisor and peers to get a feedback and identify those developmental areas which might be visible to others but not to you.

Some of your professional development needs might be met through reading journals in your area of specialization, attending seminars, webinars and workshops.

Others might require further studies or going on courses. Some of these  might require sponsorship from your employer to cover the cost. Here we need the involvement of other parties such as your immediate supervisor, the Human Resources department and those who would authorize the expenditure. You might find yourself having to make a business case to justify the expenditure on the course.

While preparing the business case make sure you are able to present the answers to Who, What, Where, Why and How questions.

If the course is relevant to your current position or will enable you to add further value to your organization, given a logical business case presentation, authorization would be possible.

Treat professional development as an investment in yourself. At the end of the day, if you do not look after yourself, no one else will.

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2 Responses to “Do You Have a Business Case for Pursuing Professional Development?”

  1. Vanita says:

    Hi,
    I actually used the advice above, and it helped me not only to land some great assignments to further my development goals, but also get funding for a course, which otherwise would not have happened.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That is great! Congratulations. In a SMART Goal, the actions and sequence are important, particularly when there are factors outside of our control or which require support from others. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your success!

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Meet your coach

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who've hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust. 

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

 

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

 
I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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