Weekend Poll: How Do You Stay On Top of Your Game?

I’m talking professional development

In last Thursday’s Weekend Poll, I asked readers to reflect on the qualities they value in their principals/bosses. The results reflected, among other priorities, the significance that readers attach to their ongoing professional development (PD).

The beauty of professional development is that it can take many forms. It’s a question of choice and resources; do you focus on credit courses, continuing education or conferences? Perhaps you work from a range of options, including self-directed learning.


Conferences as PD

Conferences are attractive to many assistants, and with good reason. Norway’s Julia Schmidt recently penned an article for Executive Secretary Magazine, describing the impact of attending this year’s Executive Secretary LIVE conference in London. Julia is Past Chairman of IMA (International Management Assistants) Norway, and was recognised as PA Of the Year Scandinavia 2017.

In her article, Julia spoke to the opportunities conferences present for building professional relationships. She also highlighted takeaways from three of the conference sessions – presentations by yours truly, Ayanna Castro and Chrissy Scivicque. You’ll find Julia’s article by clicking here.


Professional associations and networks

Many readers belong to at least one network or professional association. Take a look at almost any of the Real Careers interviews I’ve published. I’ve interviewed admin. professionals from 23 countries to date and the vast majority (if not all) the women and men I’ve interviewed not only belong to such associations; they’re also active contributors.

Take Stephanie Bergsieker, whose Real Careers interview I published just a couple of weeks ago, as an example. She belongs to both ASAP, the American Society of Administrative Professionals, and IAAP, the International Association of Administrative Professionals, in addition to an internal network.

Readers around the globe participate in a number of impressive networks that play significant roles in their professional development. I’ve presented twice now for EPAA, the Executive and Personal Assistants Association, and have seen firsthand the impact its campaigns, research, Training Days and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) have on its UK members.

Visiting Edinburgh to speak to members of the Scottish PA Network at their annual Spring Showcase this March, I was also impressed with what that network offers members by way of professional development. Take a look at any region or country, and you’ll find highly dedicated peers doing incredible work within their networks.


Self-directed learning

Then there’s self-directed learning. More than a few people I’ve interviewed mention that they listen to podcasts for professional development. There are also websites such as this and a number of other good ones, and a number of publications directed toward assistants’ wellbeing and PD.

If you’ve already caught my interview this week with Jacqueline McCumber, you’ll have read that she has an hour blocked off each Friday morning for what she calls Development Time Outs. I like that commitment, and the inherent ROI (return on investment).

All this, of course, leads to the topic of my latest Weekend Poll:

What resources do you tap in to for professional development (PD)?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below.

“Select” whichever responses apply, and remember to CLICK on the “VOTE” ICON AFTER EACH QUESTION.

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