Itʼs easy to get so absorbed in our day-to-day activities that we forget to focus on our own professional growth and development. But this is such an important part of creating a satisfying career! After all, thereʼs nothing worse than feeling stagnant or stuck in a dead-end job.
Professional development means advancement, learning new things and exploring new career paths. It takes real effort though. You have to keep your eyes open for opportunities and jump on them when they arise. You have to be willing to take risks and be eager to grow, even when it’s hard. You canʼt expect others to do the work for you. It’s a commitment of time, energy and (often) money.
So, how committed are you to your own professional development? Take the quiz and find out!
Respond to each statement by asking yourself if you feel this way:
Most of the Time = Give yourself 3 points
Sometimes = Give yourself 2 points
Never = Give yourself 1 point
(Notice there is no response for “ALL of the time” – that’s just not realistic!)
1. I actively look for opportunities to learn new skills on the job.
2. I volunteer to take on new job responsibilities.
3. I participate in classes, seminars and workshops outside of working hours in order to expand my knowledge base.
4. I participate in professional groups online and in person in order to network and meet others with similar career goals.
5. I read books and publications concerning topics that are relevant to my career and the industry in which I work.
6. I express my desire to develop my professional skills to my superiors.
7. I inquire about opportunities for promotion and/or expanded job duties.
8. I graciously accept advice from veteran colleagues.
9. I take my career seriously and consider it a work in progress – it needs to be cared for and maintained.
10. I believe my long-term career success depends on my own efforts.
Count up your points.
If you have 25 to 30 points:
Congratulations! There’s no doubt about it: You are committed to your own professional development. You go over and beyond the call of duty to make sure you are doing the appropriate things to grow your skills and career. You are willing to step out of your comfort zone to learn new things, meet new people and explore new opportunities. You have shown the willingness to voice your aspirations and take on new responsibilities. Your colleagues almost certainly recognize you as a person with big career goals and an attitude that will lead to success. Opportunities will continue to come your way as long as you show this commitment to yourself. Be sure to take advantage!
If you have 20 to 24:
You’ve definitely started taking the necessary steps towards committing to your professional development, but you might not be entirely there yet. Perhaps you don’t truly know what you want out of your career. It’s hard to focus on professional development without clear goals in mind. Take some time to figure out what you want to achieve professionally. Then, make the commitment to developing your skills and seeking new career opportunities. Remember that you’ll probably need to step out of your comfort zone in order to really embrace your own professional development. This means meeting new people, trying new things, and spending some time expanding your skill set. You’ve made a great start. Now, just keep it up!
If you have 10 to 19:
From the looks of it, you don’t take your professional development too seriously. Maybe you expect your career to take shape on its own. Perhaps you’re hoping to win the lotto and never worry about working again. Or maybe you just don’t know what to do. If you value your career and want to see it grow and develop with time, you need to commit to your own professional development. Now is the time. Don’t wait for others to help boost you up in your career – find opportunities to do it for yourself. Seek new challenges, learn new skills. Put some effort into it! Most likely, your career won’t just be handed to you on a silver platter. You have to take this process seriously. The best way to start is by making the commitment to your own professional development. Make a promise to yourself today. You’re worth it.