Continuing the conversation
In my last Weekend Poll, we looked at conferences as one form of professional development (PD). The results reflected significant commitment to conferences as PD, with 82% of respondents reporting that you plan to (or already have) participated in one conference in 2019.
Investing in your professional development
In fact, almost two thirds of respondents reported that you personally fund, either in part (28%) or in whole (37%), your attendance at conferences. This year, only 35% of respondents with plans to attend a 2019 conference reported that your employers fully fund such PD.
What are your priorities?
When it comes to conferences, the two aspects that readers identified as priorities were return on investment (ROI) and a future focus/trends. Readers want to return to their offices with ideas and practices they can incorporate, and they want to focus their energies on the future of the career/trends that are already unfolding.
Where else do you turn for 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.
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 assistants 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 last year, as an example. She’s a member of both ASAP, the American Society of Administrative Professionals, and IAAP, the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
Readers around the globe participate in a number of impressive networks that play significant roles in their professional development. I’ve recently returned from the UK, where I presented in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leicester and Southampton for EPAA, the Executive and Personal Assistants Association. I’ve presented for EPAA before and, with each trip, I experience firsthand the impact that its campaigns, research, Fellow Training Days and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) have on assistants.
Before returning to Vancouver, I also presented in late May to Network PA SW1. This professional network combines learning and development with social events that provide further opportunities for knowledge exchange, inspiration and deepening a sense of community and connections. Last month’s event was hosted by CDC, where some of Network PA SW1’s members work.
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 read my Real Careers interview with Jacqueline McCumber, you’ll know that she blocks off an hour each Friday morning for what she calls Development Time Outs. I like that commitment, and the inherent ROI.
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.