It’s easy to let professional development take a back seat to our day-to-day responsibilities. But regardless of your role, it’s important to continuously develop your job skills and ultimately advance your career. There are many ways to do this, and we all have different preferences for how we like to learn, but ere are seven professional development tips to help you get started right now.
1. Assess available resources: Find out what types of training opportunities are available – internally or externally. Work with Training and your department to identify programs, webinars, or courses that can beef up your skills. Don’t forget about Penn Community Bank’s continuing education benefits, including tuition reimbursement.
2. Join professional associations: Industry groups often conduct workshops and educational sessions where members can update their business knowledge and abilities. These events, whether in-person or online, also provide an avenue for professional networking and sharing ideas with others in the accounting and finance profession.
3. Take on new challenges: Talk to your manager about getting involved in projects outside of your normal responsibilities. Volunteer for assignments that stretch your skills.
4. Find a mentor: Look for someone at the bank – or even outside it – whose expertise you admire, and ask if he or she will assist you as a mentor. There are many benefits of having a mentor, such as learning firsthand from someone in a role you aspire to, or getting help navigating tricky situations.
5. Shadow a colleague to learn: Reach out to Training and Human Resources to identify team members who do something you’d like to learn, and observe their actions and ask them questions.
6. Help others and develop skills: Volunteer on committees or for leadership roles at organizations where you can develop skills that not only benefit the group but also are applicable to your job. Learn to develop collaboration skills and hone your interpersonal skills.
7. Create your own professional development plan: Monitor your progress by setting one-, three- and five-year goals for the job skills you’d like to obtain. This will keep you accountable. During your performance reviews, you can highlight the new skills you’ve developed.