Professional Development: Is It Important?

girl reading

Yes. It sure is! Not only does professional development and continued education provide a gateway to enhance skills, but it’s also important for better client service. 

What is professional development? It refers to the process of identifying goals and learning new skills to help growth and success at work. This can consist of taking classes at a local college, attending online or in-person seminars on a related topic, or even having coffee with local professionals in your field and asking them questions. 

As subject matter experts, it’s so important to stay in-the-know on the best new practices and trends, while also staying well-connected in our community.. 

Sometimes you need to be challenged to grow — as an industry leader and as a professional. Set yourself apart from the rest in your industry with a few hours per week dedicated to intentional self-investment.

Here are seven ways to take control of professional and leadership development:

  1. Join a Professional Organization: Fortunately, Richmond has a ton of professional organizations to join, including industry-specific organizations such as the Richmond Ad Club, PRSA, and AMA. We also think it’s important to get involved in organizations that don’t necessarily involve advertising and marketing like alumni groups, book clubs, athletic leagues, and more. Attending their workshops, happy hours, luncheons, and more is a perfect way to meet new people in the area.
  2. Read and Listen Regularly: Read everything you can get your hands on — newsletters, magazine articles, books, and more! Subscribe to daily newsletters like Marketing Brew and The Skimm to read about current news in your industry and the world. Learn about the newest trends and techniques from publications like Adweek or Fast Company. Some books that we at The King Agency love and recommend are Dare to Lead, Start with Why, and Talking to Strangers. And for those who don’t love reading but still love learning new things, podcasts and audiobooks are a great choice to continue that education every day. For business tips and inspiration, try listening to the podcasts How I Built This with Guy Raz, The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, and The Tim Ferriss Show
  3. Attend Training Programs, Workshops and Conferences: Attending workshops and conferences provide insight on industry trends and tools that can then be applied to daily work. There are plenty of options to choose from that fit your needs from local events that cost a small fee to free online seminars. A huge benefit of local events include the chance to network and meet other professionals in your area face-to-face. Benefits of online seminars include varied prices and flexibility in scheduling.  
  4. Take an Online Course: Most online courses are offered on a flexible basis, allowing you to work your continuing education into your busy life. Now, you can go to YouTube anytime to grab a quick, five-minute tutorial from an expert in your field. Similarly, TED Talks cover every topic under the sun, and LinkedIn Learning offers thousands of online courses on a variety of creative and technical topics. 
  5. Enter Industry Awards: Awards showcase your talent, creativity, and company culture. From Top 40 Under 40 to projects of the year, every industry offers awards opportunities. They can be time consuming to craft successfully, but they are a great tool to show off your talent and credentials to others.
  6. Engage in Speaking Opportunities: Volunteering to speak at conferences, college classes, and seminars forces you to develop how to communicate clearly and compellingly to an audience full of people who want to learn from you. More importantly, it gives you a platform to share your unique perspective on your industry. The more of these speaking events you attend, the more you’ll be able to set yourself apart and make yourself more valuable.
  7. Share your Skills with Nonprofits: Share your time and talent with nonprofit organizations. Whether it’s writing, providing strategy tips, or sharing your network to benefit a cause close to your heart (for us, we love supporting FETCH a Cure!), the value cannot be matched!

It’s time to invest in yourself. By working on your professional development, you’ll ultimately strengthen the backbone of your business, skills and client work. 

Have questions? We’d love to help! Just shoot us a message on Instagram @thekingagency or email