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Continuing professional development is an effective way to ensure you’re always up-to-speed with new developments in your industry and subsequently, valuable to the companies that hire you. 

According to Deloitte, the average tenure in a single job is just 4.5 years. Given that a career is 60 to 70 years long, that could equate to as many as 15 different jobs.

In this blog post, we explain how the workforce is changing, and how continuing professional development will help you keep up with this change. 

Why is professional development important? 

Deloitte discovered that the half-life of a learned skill is now only five years long. This means that, after this time period, an employee’s skillset is well on its way to becoming outdated. 

This is thanks to technology, which is rapidly innovating business processes. For long-term employees, having to compete with younger colleagues who are technologically savvy can be a challenge. For new and old employees alike, it can be difficult to keep up-to-date with constantly changing ways of working.  

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How can you continue your professional development? 

Technology isn’t the only area where continuous professional development applies. Every job role requires constant learning. For example, employees who step into leadership roles or take on more responsibility will require new skills to ensure they do an effective job. 

Here are a few ways to continue professional development: 

1. Attend industry events 

Industry events and conferences give employees both an insight into emerging trends in an industry, and new ways in which to work. Be sure to check out 10 Times to find a list of events occurring in your industry. 

2. Partake in online courses 

Online courses can be bought in bulk, and since they’re often conducted at the office, they’re a great way for a business to keep costs low.  

Many job roles require specific training for insurance purposes and accredited online courses are the perfect way to ensure businesses are meeting regulatory guidelines within their industry. 

3. Read and learn through insightful blogs 

Continuing professional development should be a daily occurrence, and thanks to the plethora of blogs on the internet, employees can always read up about new and emerging trends in their industry.   

For technology, it might mean reading Computer Weekly or CIO magazine. For those in leadership roles, it might be the Harvard Business Review.  

4. Learn from colleagues 

The best place to learn often comes from those around us. And at the office, that means colleagues.   

Whether you need to understand how to perform a specific area of your job in order to keep the business compliant (like GDPR), or how to manage a team of employees for the first time. Your peers can often provide valuable insight into the inner workings of a job role. 

Professional development is personal development too 

Developing your professional career means developing yourself as a person. Skills learned in the workplace are transferable to everyday life. Constantly challenging yourself can have knock-on effects both at work and at home, like more motivation, more fulfilment and increased self-confidence.  

In Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Trends reportlearning and development was ranked as one of the top five trends based on importance. Online courses, for example, are a great way to build new skills, develop a CV (curriculum vitae) and make yourself more employable. For some generations of workers, it’s even more important than pay.  

If you’d like to find out more about the importance of continuing professional development, or if you’d like to talk to us about partaking in an online course to develop your career, read our blog or speak with an expert. 

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