The Real Value of Professional Development

By   |   June 9th, 2015   |   0 Comments

Two agribusiness professionals connect at the 2014 Ag & Food HR Roundtable in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Two agribusiness professionals connect at the 2014 Ag & Food HR Roundtable in St. Paul, Minnesota.

There are varying levels of appreciation for professional development — some are ecstatic about the opportunity to learn while others sigh with dread. The truth is that those who dislike the thought of professional development may only be looking at the opportunity at face value. Of course the key of professional development is to learn. However, there are many other facets to be gained by participating in professional development that often go unrecognized.

Here are eight underlying benefits gained beyond building knowledge:

  1. Confidence and credibility
    • The phrase, ‘knowledge is power’ rings true. The act of learning provides new perspective and increased intelligence in areas that hopefully align with your aspirations.
  2. Efficiency
    • The goal of most professional development activities, if not all, is to teach you how to do something better. By being better, you learn to be more efficient.
  3. Ability to influence and lead
    • By using the knowledge learned with the confidence and credibility gained, the ability to influence and lead becomes less subjective and more about the facts and figures you bring to the table. These opportunities provide a tool for you to bring more meaningful contributions to your team.
  4. Network
    • Professional development opportunities that are conducted in group settings provide an added benefit of building on your network. They also provide an outlet of individuals you can brainstorm with and seek feedback from throughout your career.
  5. Keep current
    • It is easy to become complacent and keep things status quo. Professional development opportunities can shed light on new approaches and tips and how to navigate through them.
  6. Showcase achievements
    • Maybe you aren’t looking for a new career opportunity right now, but professional development opportunities are a great way to get your name out and show other peers/influencers who you are and how you can contribute to an organization based on your accomplishments.
  7. Achieve career goals
    • For many, professional development is just a part of moving up the career ladder. Whether professional development is necessary for advancement or not, let it be a motivator for you as you pursue your career goals.
  8. Become a better employee
    • Obviously companies invest in professional development to get more out of their staff. But doesn’t that also help you? Being the best you can be for your employer hopefully is reciprocated in things like better compensation, flexibility, perks, advancement and more!

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity for human resource professionals within the agricultural industry, look no further. Plan to attend the 2015 Ag & Food HR Roundtable being held August 4 – 6 in St. Louis, MO. More than 240 HR industry professionals and university/college career services staff will gather to talk about high interest issues around recruitment and retention within agriculture. It is an excellent opportunity to network and learn. We look forward to seeing you there!

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