Folks can have a complicated relationship with professional development.
For some, it may be a wonderful thing: An opportunity to learn, network, engaging and learning with others invested in the same topic or issue.
For others, it can bring a sense of dread of forced participation in activities that do not pertain or interest them. Still, others may temper their expectations: They appreciate professional development but never know if they will have the funds to support their endeavors.
Even if you are a fan, sometimes that is not enough.
In some offices and for some individuals, professional development can be viewed as a nice-to-have element and not a priority. I know that I often prioritize projects, tasks, and initiatives over my own professional development. I guess I assume I can always revisit my needs once things calm down.
As such, professional development can be neglected or sit at the bottom of my to-do list – sound familiar?
Don’t feel guilty about investing in yourself or your needs.Professional development is an important element for faculty and staff success (Diamond, 2002). It helps enrich personal and professional interests and skillsets, while also ensuring people remain aware of emerging trends and competencies necessary to best serve students.
Before drawing up a list of excuses, barriers, or limitations, recognize that professional development can come in many forms. Not only that, but some forms are completely free and asynchronous – meaning folks do not have to engage or participate at a particular time or day.
If you want to work on your professional development but aren’t sure where to start, check out this list of options and considerations.