Here are tips to improve yourself as a professional. Following this path with make you more effective in your current role. Pursuit of professional development will also help prepare you for a future role and the benefits and rewards that come along with it.

Start by talking with your supervisor about your career goals. Next, ask a second leader to be your mentor. Ideally, your mentor should be known as a strong leader and should be one tier above you in the management chain.

If you have clearly defined goals and areas of professional development, pursue them with your mentor and document the goals within your employee performance plan.

Your professional development plan will get stale over time. Use a 'Start, Stop, Continue' exercise to identify new areas where you need to improve.

  • What should Name stop doing?
  • What should Name start doing?
  • What should Name continue doing?

    Ask an independent party to send the list of questions, aggregate the feedback and anonymize the results. Provide a list of personnel the questions should be sent to. Select people that report to you, your peers, those you support or sit across the table from and former team mates. Send an e-mail to that same distribution, asking them to participate in the Start, Stop, Continue exercise and let them know the results will be kept anonymous.

    Brace yourself for the results of the feedback. Keep in mind that two of the questions are negative (stop and start). Discuss the results with your mentor. Look for trends in the responses when trying to identify goals. The book 'For Your Improvement' is a good reference for working towards areas of professional development.

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