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Not Getting the Professional Support You Are Looking For?

Alright, so you are frustrated… you have asked and begged for some sort of professional development support from your work and you’ve gotten no where!

I get it, but have you paused for a moment to consider that the people you are asking for help, don’t know how to help you, don’t understand how to implement your ask, and may have never received support themselves so they are just clueless.

Have you clearly identified what type of professional development you need?

A lot of times we get wrapped up in the feelings of not being support professionally by our boss, team, or company, but we haven't taken a moment to really map out what exactly it is we are needing! So where do you start? Well first... you've got to do a career audit!

First: Identify where you are at professionally. Take an honest look. What are your current skills sets and experience? How is your current performance aligning with the expectations of your job description? What are your hard/soft, technical/administrative skills? What areas are you thriving? What areas do you need to grow? Are there gaps?

Second: Do your research. Research the requirements and expectations of the job that you are wanting, whether it is the next step up, a step to the side (or within), or a complete pivot. How do your current skills and experience line-up? Take that research a step further... spend some time on LinkedIn researching individuals whose paths are similar or aspirational for you. (What you may notice is that people don't have as linear path as you may think!)

Third: Make your list of professional growth needs. Now that you have your current professional assessment, cross-walk it with the research you did. What are you missing? Project management experience? Application of technical skills? Acquisition of new skills? Supervisory experience? What are you needing to advance? Write it out clearly

Forth: Take initiative and ownership. Now that you have your list of professional growth needs:

  • take a look within you company and team for opportunities of mentorship and application.

  • do your own research on external options such as workshops online courses, and certificate programs.

  • talk with your supervisor or another relevant team member (perhaps someone that you have observed as having master-levels experience in the skill you are wanting to develop) about how to gain more experience or application of the items on your list.

  • ask about educational or professional development benefits provided by your company. If not or limited, ask if they can be planned for in the next year's budget - or - negotiate potential coverage of some of the cost.

The next time you approach your senior leadership team, have a game plan on who, what, when, and how your professional development will not only support you but them as well. Be clear in what you need to be successful, but also be flexible and adaptable!

Fifth: Invest in yourself. Yes, we would all love it if our companies covered the cost of our professional development, but that is rarely the case. After you have done your research and your outreach, and are still in want, then it falls on your shoulders to do something about what is lacking! Too many times, people slump along disappointed in the response they receive and they don't do anything about it! Don't be that person!

  • If you don't like the fact that if your employer covers some of the cost of your professional development program in exchange for your commitment to stay with the company for X amount of time...

    • Then... consider the amount that your company is covering and start saving it. Usually should you leave before X amount of time, you will have to pay your company back.

    • My rule-of-thumb when asking a company to help off set the cost of any of my professional development courses or programs is... am I willing and comfortable walking away from the company owing them some $$$. The answer has always been yes! With each new job, the pay increase beyond covered the $1000-2000 they spent on me. And to be honest, I've never had a company ask me to pay it back. Note that that is not always the case... make sure to read the documentation they have you sign.

  • Spend the money and invest in yourself. You are worth it. But do head this advice: be strategic with your choices, your priorities, and make sure that you have a vision of what the next steps should look like!

If you are struggling to identify, prioritize, and develop your strategic career roadmap... don't waste time dragging along, waiting on someone else to do it for you... reach out about my VIP Intensives or 1-on-1 Coaching Sessions.

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