The vast majority of the working population in the private sector are working with key professional ambitions in mind. Professional development and growth can open doors, and the right approach to professional development can guarantee long-term success. But how should you approach your own professional development, in order to achieve your ambitions?
Mastering Your Schedule
It goes without saying that punctuality is an important trait to possess in any professional capacity. However, taking the time to ensure that you have complete control over, and understanding of, your daily, weekly and monthly schedules will ensure you are best placed to act and react in the most effective way.
On a basic level, you will need to ensure you are on time for every meeting you attend. With hybrid work agreements and increasingly nebulous roles geographically speaking, it is more likely than ever that transport will be involved when it comes to in-person meetings (as opposed to meeting participants all working in the same building). Knowing this, you should plan your journeys in advance, and make sure to understand your local train timetables well.
Schedule mastery is about more than the commute, though; it is also about recognising and valuing the time of your team, colleagues and superiors. A forgotten phone call or a pushed-back meeting indicates to other participants that they are low on your priority list – something which could reflect poorly on your professional reputation.
Initiative and Self-Determination
Ascension through corporate ranks is a difficult and rigorous process – and disproportionately so for women, with recent figures showing that as few as eight of the top 100 businesses listed in the UK are helmed by women. Making a case for promotion, and for your viability as a leader, requires you to display a level of assertiveness and self-determination not commonly found in the working population.
The ability to assert yourself in the boardroom, in meetings and in email chains with team members will shine a light on your ability to manage, while owning your decisions – both good and bad – reflect well on your comfort in professional settings. The less you defer – unless to expert counsel and independent review – the better your chances of being noticed as a strong contender.
Motivation and Leadership
Professional development may be an individual endeavour, but it is not an individualistic one. Teamwork is an essential tenet of any productive department, and properly facilitating teamwork is a leadership trait well-admired in professional communities.
As such, making a conscious effort to motivate your team will see your hard work rewarded. Regular check-ins and scheduled ‘office hours’ in which team members can reach you will help foster a positive working environment, and inspire trust in you as a leader. Success within your team will reflect all the better on you for steering a productive ship with targeted measures.