Some may call it training or education but to me it really comes down to professional development. In reality, our learning is a function of our level of motivation or drive.  Ask yourself: “How motivated am I to learn a new skill or improve an existing skill?”  Sounds like an easy question and yet if we’re being honest, it may be a tough one to answer.

Here is a list of questions to pose to yourself on the topic of professional development:

  1. How well do I know my professional strengths as well as my areas for growth?
  2. What are my professional goals?
  3. How do I want to proceed in achieving my professional goals?
  4. What resources do I want to consider in pursuit of my goals (e.g. on-line, books, coaching, workshops)?
  5. If my professional goals are directly tied to being more effective on the job, have I discussed this with my employer or company leadership?
  6. If my professional goals are something I wish to attain independently from my job, am I willing to invest in myself and is my budget reasonable?
  7. What timeline is realistic to establish for achieving my professional goals?
  8. How will I know if I’m successful at making the change I’m pursuing?
  9. What aspects of my job will be positively impacted by the professional goals I establish?
  10. From whom should I seek additional feedback or input before moving forward with my professional development?

Maybe you want to modify this list or even add some of your own questions.  Feel free to do so. The point is that before diving in and taking a course of action, you may wish to do some reflection first.  Professional development needs to be clearly outlined and timed well in order for you to derive the desired benefit.  The true value stems from our intrinsic level of candor and our internal impetus.

As I stated in the title of this post…learning is up to us.  What’s your opinion?