Why is Professional Development Important?

Learn the role of professional development in advancing your career.

Lian Parsons

Professional development is an important aspect of continuing your career growth and striving to reach your goals.

This blog post will explain what professional development is, its benefits to both employers and their employees, and how to seek different opportunities out to reach your full potential.

What is Professional Development?

Professional development is gaining new skills through continuing education and career training after entering the workforce. It can include taking classes or workshops, attending professional or industry conferences, or earning a certificate to expand your knowledge in your chosen field.

Some companies offer in-house opportunities for professional development, such as training sessions or mentoring programs, but many professional development programs are done independently. 

Professional development is important because it has the potential to open opportunities for career advancement, such as promotions. It can assist you in honing existing skills and in learning new ones. 

It can also help you stand out in a pool of applicants; showing that you have completed professional development programs or additional industry certifications on your resume can go a long way in showing your expertise in your field.

Employees who show initiative in independent learning can signal to employers that you are open to new experiences and are enthusiastic about continuing to grow. 

Benefits of Professional Development for Employers

Professional development can be instrumental in growing a stronger team.

Employers who encourage their employees to seek out professional development opportunities are in turn encouraging higher productivity and job satisfaction. 

Higher Retention Rates

According to a Business News Daily article, businesses should offer professional development opportunities to their employees to improve potential turnover.

Professional development can help to bolster employees’ confidence in their work. Greater confidence can, in turn, translate into higher overall job satisfaction, employee performance, productivity, and overall morale. 

Investing in professional development training programs also shows employees that their company is invested in their success and interested in cultivating their advancement.

Attract Better Talent

It can be challenging to find — and retain — talented employees. Offering professional development opportunities can help employers fill open positions by attracting and retaining skilled employees.

According to talent management platform Clear Company, 74 percent of employees say that a lack of professional development opportunities are preventing them from reaching their full potential. Additionally, 94 percent of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in staff development.

Employers offering these benefits are more likely to attract potential employees who are interested in striving for excellence and pursuing advancement. 

Investing in professional development for employees can grow an existing team’s skills and entice new talent to join with the incentive of a clear learning and development plan. 

Help Employees Stay Up to Date With Industry Trends to Keep Skills Sharp

Industry trends move rapidly, and it’s important for companies to keep pace with the times. Ongoing professional development can prevent potential stagnation by maintaining — and improving — employee skills. 

Look for programs that will help you stay up to date, such as those for agile leadership for hybrid work, or for innovation strategy .

Employees engaged in professional development are also more likely to stay engaged in their work and to be enthusiastic about pursuing their goals. 

Get started on your professional development journey today.

Benefits of Professional Development for Employees

From gaining confidence in your abilities to building potential for advancement, professional development offers employees many benefits for not only your career, but your personal goals as well. 

Learn new skills

Through professional development, you may hone both hard and soft skills in your work. Hard skills pertain to job-specific knowledge you can obtain through formal training or education. Soft skills are personal competencies, such as effective communication or the skills that contribute to emotional intelligence . 

Developing both types of skills is important to reaching your professional goals — and even some of your personal ones.

Boost Confidence and Credibility

Adding additional skills or certification from a professional development program to your resume is one way to boost your confidence in your skills and show your credibility to employers.

Professional development opportunities can expose both new and experienced professionals to new ideas and expertise. Seeking out these opportunities shows ambition and the space to practice those new competencies. 

Develop Leadership Skills

A confident employee is also likely an enthusiastic employee. If you take the step to grow and develop your skills, the incentive to seek out additional opportunities can continue to expand along with it. 

If you are an employee who wants to advance your career but isn’t sure how to do so, professional development can encourage you to put your hand up for leadership opportunities you may not have sought out otherwise. 

This blog post offers helpful tips on how to choose a leadership development program.

Build Your Network

Professional development can provide many opportunities for networking. Workshops, conferences, classes, and webinars are all spaces in which professionals can meet new people within their industry and make new connections.

These connections can lead to new opportunities, mentorship, and support which may provide the next stepping stone in your career. 

Advance in your career

A well-qualified employee attracts employer attention. Employees who are invested in professional development display commitment to their work and an interest in continuing to improve.

Professional development can also boost your earning potential by increasing your value through obtaining credentials, certifications, and designations. 

Where to Take Professional Development Courses

There are a broad range of professional development opportunities. 

Harvard Division of Continuing Education’s Professional & Executive Development offers dozens of courses spanning multiple industries. Your employer may even help you pay for these opportunities if you effectively show their worth.  

There are both in-person and online options available, so choose what works best for your goals and lifestyle.

Seek out programs, workshops, seminars, mentorship programs, and more within your industry. Investing in yourself is just the first step.

Take the next step to advance your career. Find the program that’s right for you.

Browse all Professional & Executive Development programs.

About the Author

Lian Parsons is a Boston-based writer and journalist. She is currently a digital content producer at Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education. Her bylines can be found at the Harvard Gazette, Boston Art Review, Radcliffe Magazine, Experience Magazine, and iPondr.

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Senior level managers must tackle complex problems using creative problem-solving and a portfolio of skills and styles. Here’s a look at how being a strategic leader can move an organization—and your career—forward.

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What Is Professional Development (and Why Does It Matter)?

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What Is Professional Development (and Why Does It Matter)? was originally published on Forage .

School may be over, but learning is a lifelong process, especially if you want to move up the career ladder. Professional development plays a huge role in helping you advance in your chosen career. But what is professional development, and how do you find it? And once you find it, what do you do with it?

What Is Professional Development?

Professional development is “the continuous process of self-awareness, application, and reflection on how to best apply your strengths and skills to the world of work,” says Dylan Houle, executive director, career and professional development at Santa Clara University. It’s when you learn new skills while enhancing your existing skill set and can be formal (like attending training and classes) or informal (like working with a mentor or reading books).

Career development is also ongoing and evolving, says Christine J. Spadafor, lawyer, management consultant, and board member at Boyd Gaming Corporation. “It is embracing and utilizing what you’ve learned to achieve your career goals with expected goal refinement along the way.”

>>MORE: What Is a Management Consultant? – Forage

To be clear, professional development is similar to but not the same as continuing education. Continuing education is the mandatory classes you take to maintain a professional certification or license you already have. However, taking these classes to obtain a new certificate or license is a type of professional development.

Spadafor also points out that there’s a difference between development and growth. “Development is attending training and seminars while growth more fully encompasses a demonstrated eagerness to learn new skills and knowledge, seek new experiences and take on increased responsibilities.”

Accessing the World of Work

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Skills you’ll build: Personal branding, promotion skills, applying for jobs, interview preparation

Why Is Professional Development Important?

You might think that devoting time to professional development is a waste. After all, you learn and develop your skills on the job, so why do you need to spend additional time educating yourself?

Let’s start with the data. A 2023 survey by the Project Management Institute found that 70% of respondents value their job when it provides ample professional development. This same survey also found that 52% of all workers would leave a job if they didn’t get the kind of development they desired. And of those workers, 57% of young professionals (people ages 18 to 30) reported they would leave a job if they didn’t have professional development opportunities.

So, while you can and do learn many skills on the job, professional development is more than that. “It provides a competitive edge for promotions, selections for high-visibility projects and more career choices,” says Spadafor. When you’re intentional in your professional development, you’re “managing your career, rather than passively responding only to available opportunities.”

What’s more, you’ll be able to communicate what you’re capable of. “Job seekers who approach their career development with intention can easily communicate how their various experiences intertwine with and reinforce each other,” says Houle.

Here’s how professional development can help your career grow.

A photo of Christine J. Spadafor

Don’t be afraid to fail. Get out of your comfort zone. Venture out on those skinny branches. You’ll learn so much more!

— Christine J. Spadafor

Learn New Skills

You might be perfectly happy in your job right now. But how long will that last? One year? Five? Forever? Once you’ve learned all you can and mastered every skill for that role, then what? Will you still be happy? Will you be bored and uninspired? Or bothered that your career hasn’t progressed the way you expected?

Pursuing professional development and learning new skills (also called “upskilling”) means when you inevitably outgrow your current job, you’re ready for the next one — whatever it is!

>>MORE: What Is Career Planning?

Confidence Builder

It’s cheesy but true. Learning and mastering new skills is a true confidence booster because you start with little to no knowledge of the topic. But as you use and hone these new skills, your competency and ability increase — along with your confidence! And being confident in your professional self is one of the best career boosts out there.

Expand Your Network

Some professional development is also an opportunity to grow and expand your professional network. Classes and workshops bring people from the same or similar fields together and often have participants engage in small-group interactions. These groups are a great time for you to connect with others.

And while you may not need these people now, you never know what the future holds. The people you network with today may help your career prospects tomorrow.

Demonstrate a Growth Mindset

And finally, engaging in and pursuing professional development demonstrates you have a growth mindset. Actively learning and using new skills shows your employer that you know you’re never done learning and growing. Employers often look for people who seek out challenges and a desire to grow, and professional development is an excellent way to do that.

Where to Find Professional Development

Professional development can be formal and informal. Some opportunities will be offered to you, and some you’ll have to find on your own, but here’s where you can start.

A photo of Dylan Houle

You must be willing to research and network, experiment and immerse yourself in new things (like a Forage work experience), and be flexible enough to pivot and adapt to new opportunities as they arise.

— Dylan Houle

Your job is probably the number one place to find professional development opportunities. Depending on the company’s culture , it may be a part of your job, but it might also be something you have to find yourself.

Some companies provide professional development as a benefit through ongoing training from internal staff members or outside consultants. These training sessions might be mandatory or optional and often cover a wide variety of professional topics.

>>MORE: What Are Fringe Benefits?

Other companies may not provide internal training, instead offering a stipend or budget. This way, you can attend the professional development courses that truly interest you, and the company pays for them. In some cases, the company may require you to come back and present your learnings to your coworkers (yet another form of professional development!).

Not all companies provide or pay for professional development, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it.

There are tons of books that can help you grow and develop professionally. Though most focus on soft skills and leadership, there are options if you want to improve your hard skills . What’s more, many of these are available through the library, making this a low-cost way to enhance your professional development.

Outside Courses

Even if your employer doesn’t offer internal professional development or pay for outside classes, you still have options.

There are many free or low-cost professional development courses online. For example, Google offers tons of certification courses to help you master the skills you want and need. Completing something like a virtual job simulation also allows you to enhance your skill set and show employers you’re committed to growth.

How to Create Your Professional Development Plan

Of course, learning a bunch of random skills doesn’t do much for your career. That’s where professional development goals and a professional development plan come in.

Professional Skills Development Program

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Professional development plans are similar to your yearly evaluation. Once a year, you and your boss sit down to discuss your performance. During that discussion, you work together and decide what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year and determine what steps you need to take to make that happen. 

A professional development plan is similar in that you set professional development goals and outline how you will accomplish them. In both cases, using SMART goals will help you stay on track.

So, say your goal is to take on additional leadership responsibilities. You would create a professional development plan that breaks your end goal — leadership responsibilities — into smaller, more manageable steps. It could look like this:

Goal: Take on more leadership duties

Timeline: 3 years

Step 1: Discuss specific skills I need to develop with supervisor

Step 2: Attend leadership trainings through work, including [examples]

Step 3: Attend at least four leadership conferences through [name or names of outside professional development courses]

And you’d add additional steps as necessary to help you achieve your goal of becoming a leader.

Planting the Seeds

Starting your professional development now will help you take the career path you want in the future. And focusing on developing the skills you’ll need to grow throughout your career can make you a top candidate in your job search, no matter where you are in your career journey.

Not sure what skills employers are looking for? Here’s a list to get you started:

  • What Are Critical Thinking Skills?
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The post What Is Professional Development (and Why Does It Matter)? appeared first on Forage .

129 Professional Development Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on professional development, 👍 good professional development research topics & essay examples, 🎓 most interesting professional development research titles, 💡 simple professional development essay ideas, ❓ questions about professional development.

  • Professional Development of Teachers’ Skills
  • Employability and Professional Development
  • Nursing Professional Development Plan
  • Reflective Practice in Personal and Professional Development
  • Professional Development of Nursing Professionals
  • Cross-Cultural Personal and Professional Development
  • APN Professional Development Plan
  • Academic Success and Professional Development Plan Healthcare providers are the professionals whose knowledge base keeps widening as best practices are realized following numerous critical works of research.
  • Personal Professional Development for the Workplace This personal development plan is an important and very helpful tool that is in the disposal of someone who recently finished her studies.
  • Advanced Practice Nurse Professional Development This paper aims to provide advanced practice nurse (APN) professional development plan by discussing APN scope of practice in the intended state of practice.
  • A Nurse’s Professional Development Plan It is necessary to expand upon the barriers that a nurse can encounter on the way to reaching professionalism as well ad identify the support systems that could help overcome them.
  • Book Clubs: Professional Development Among Teachers This research project aims to examine a group of teachers who share their narratives through interactions in book clubs and define the relationship between this intervention.
  • Nursing Professional Development and Future This paper will consider the effects the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” had on nursing practice
  • Professional Development Role in Employment The majority of employers often have high expectations of the abilities and skills of graduate recruits. They often look at a potential candidate as energetic, motivated, and adaptable.
  • Personal and Professional Development as Business Consultant Personal and professional development are the two things responsible for the formation and organization of the group.
  • The Professional Development Program for SUPERVALU The Professional Development Program was a proposal set to recruit college graduates and proximate to offer job placement in SUPERVALU after training.
  • Business and Economics: Professional Development Self-managed learning entails self-directed learning, action learning, and self-development. In 1978, Ian Cunningham defined the term self-managed learning.
  • Board-Certified Behavior Analyst’s Professional Development Board-Certified Behavior Analysts should make choices that reflect the highest standards of professionalism while also protecting their customers’ rights and liberties.
  • A Best Practice Strategy for Professional Development In the paper, the author states that proper reflection, relation, and response in every situation form the basis of perfect communication in an institution.
  • Continuous Professional Development in Contemporary Nursing Practice This essay focuses on such a concept as Continuous Professional Development and its importance for contemporary nursing practice.
  • The Nursing Professionals: Professional Development This paper will analyze the 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine and discuss the importance of professional development for nurses.
  • Professional Development in Healthcare: Nursing Professionals This paper will discuss “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health Report” and explain the crucial role of nursing specialists.
  • Professional Development of the Advanced Practice Nurse There are certain similarities and differences between the professions of family nurse practitioner (FNP), primary care provider (PCP), and clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
  • Delegation and Professional Development for Everyday Leadership The complexity of all the tasks nurses have to face leads to an increase in the need for junior medical personnel.
  • Taylor’s Framework for the Professional Development of Doctoral Supervisors The article “Towards A Framework For The Professional Development Of Doctoral Supervisors” by Stan Taylor centers around the changes in supervision practices.
  • Important Concepts of Teacher Professional Development The central ideas in the teachers’ professional development include the pre-service preparation, new teachers’ induction and the continuous professional development.
  • Management: Personal and Professional Development This paper embarks on a series of research questions into the most crucial part of management which is leadership.
  • Linguistics. Professional Development for Middle School Students, whose native language is not English, are called English Language Learners or ELLs. Their second language proficiency is often insufficient for the school level.
  • Management Skill: Personal and Professional Development Management skills in the context of personal and professional development are a very important issue in modern corporate world.
  • Professional Development of Nurses The recommendations of IOM in theory and practice influenced nursing in the United States, explaining the importance of the nursing transformation and suggesting practical measures to change it.
  • Institute of Medicine on Nursing Professional Development The Institute of Medicine’s report outlines the four messages that should be considered to achieve success in nursing practice.
  • Nursing Professional Development Plan in Florida Having a professional development plan is also an indication that nurses are improving and maintaining their competence to practice.
  • Advanced Practice Nursing Professional Development Plan Advanced practice nursing implies a high degree of knowledge gained through both education and experience as well as advanced skills that permit the nurse to work as a specialist.
  • Leadership and Professional Development To nurture leadership traits in a manager, organizations need to develop effective mechanisms that facilitate learning and development of leadership skills.
  • Professional Development Workshop: Job Search Methods This work gives information about the most effective strategies for finding a summer job, an internship during college, or a career position near graduation.
  • Professional Development for Strategic Managers The report contains an evaluation of personal skills alongside professional skills that every significant person requires to successfully manage leadership.
  • Professional Development Plan for Strategic Managers The main strategic goals and objectives of organization consist in ensuring effective leadership and providing strategic managers with sufficient competence.
  • Personal and Professional Development Personality tests examine a person’s temperament and seek to classify people under several broad personality types.
  • Standard 2 for Early Childhood Professional Development Standard 2 is focused on the role of building family and community relationships. The level of success of early education depends on the interaction between the school and family.
  • Nursing Professional Development: Nursing Education, Practice, and Leadership Nowadays, the representatives of the nursing profession start playing more and more important roles in the American health care system.
  • Professional Development of Nursing This paper discusses issues in nursing: nursing education and practice, right leadership skills, and the Government’s role in the transformation of the medical system.
  • The Future of Nursing: Professional Development Since the nursing profession represents the largest sector of the U.S. health profession, enhancements in nursing education, nursing practice, and nursing leadership are critical changes.
  • Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development It has been acknowledged that teaching careers are based on the sharing knowledge and experiences. There is a clear connection between curriculum, instruction and professional development.
  • Professional Development and Nursing Education Nurses play a major role in understanding the objectives of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and improving the health care system of the United States of America.
  • Student Learning Through Professional Development
  • Professional Development: Centralization Versus Decentralization
  • Human Resources Professional Development Within the Knowledge-based Economy Organizations
  • Professional Development and Education Development
  • Professional Development for Becoming a Teacher
  • The Artistic and Professional Development of Teachers
  • Professional Development and Continuous Learning
  • Engineering Professional Development Related to Sustainability of Quality
  • Guidelines and Standards for Professional Development
  • Professional Development and Student Achievement
  • Teachers’Incentives and Professional Development in Schools in Mexico
  • The Career Decision Making and Professional Development
  • Professional Development Plan For Early Childhood Education
  • School Bullying and Teacher Professional Development
  • Factors Affecting Professional Development Plans of General Practitioner
  • Tourism and Hotel Professional Development
  • Professional Development Plan for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • The Personal and Professional Development of Students
  • Nurses and Professional Development as a Practitioner
  • Continuous Teacher Professional Development Through Collaboration
  • Teacher Evaluation and the Problem of Professional Development
  • Professional Development From Sexual Minorities
  • Teaching and Learning and Professional Development
  • Professional Development and the Use of Knowledge in Nursing
  • Lifelong Learning and Professional Development
  • Mobile Phones for Professional Development and English Teaching in Bangladesh
  • Personal and Professional Development in Health and Social Care
  • Management of Work Priorities and Professional Development
  • Reflective Practice and Professional Development
  • Professional Development for Strategic Managers
  • Objectives Regarding Professional Development as a Nurse Educator
  • Professional Development and Lifelong Learning
  • Managing Own Continuous Professional Development
  • Strategic Management and Professional Development Plan
  • Teacher Professional Development and Student Achievement Gains
  • Professional Development and Mentoring Plan
  • Professional Development Within the Lifelong Learning Sector
  • Understanding Professional Development for Educators
  • Professional Development and Increase Professional Growth
  • Research Methods and Professional Development Commerce
  • The National Professional Development Center on Autism
  • Professional Development Plan For an Educator
  • Personal Development Plan for Professional Development
  • The Trail Elementary Professional Development School
  • Promote Professional Development College
  • Professional Development and Competencies
  • Investigating New Teachers’ Experiences: Easing the Transition Through Professional Development
  • Teacher´s Professional Development Programs
  • Implementing Change Through Professional Development
  • Differentiated Instruction and Professional Development
  • The Professional Development Profile for Music Teachers
  • Professional Development Program for Patients With CHF
  • What Technology Related Training and Professional Development?
  • The Concept and Importance of Continuous Professional Development
  • Professional Development and Student Reading Comprehension
  • Reflection and Professional Development
  • Organizational and Professional Development
  • Requirements for Continuing Professional Development
  • Investment Into the Professional Development of Employees of Eastern Croatia
  • Professional Development Training Framework for Students
  • How Does Professional Development Improve Teaching?
  • How CPD Affects the Professional Development Needs of Instructors?
  • Why Should Educators Continue Professional Development?
  • How Professional Development Directly Impacts the Quality of Work?
  • What Makes Professional Development Effective?
  • What Policies Support Professional Development in an Era of Reform?
  • What Are Contemporary Approaches to Teacher Professional Development?
  • Is Reflection the Way to Professional Development?
  • Why Nonprofits Should Ditch Old Fashioned Professional Development?
  • What Are the Principles of Professional Development?
  • Why Professional Development Can Be Held for Mathematics?
  • What Is Assessment-Driven Professional Development?
  • What Are the Seven Elements of Effective Professional Development?
  • What Are the Models of Continuing Professional Development?
  • What Is an Evidence-Based Approach to Professional Development?
  • What Is the Japanese Model of Professional Development About?
  • What Is the Basic Architecture of Professional Development?
  • What New Opportunities Does E‐Learning Bring in Continuing Professional Development?
  • What Are the Implications of Adult Education for Professional Development?
  • What Is Continuing Professional Development in Pharmacy?
  • What Links Language Assessment and Professional Development?
  • What Are the Effects of Professional Development on Science Teaching Practices?
  • How Did the Evolution From Traditional to Online Professional Development Go?
  • What Role Do Models Play in Women’s Professional Development?
  • How Important Is Setting Goals for Professional Development?

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 1). 129 Professional Development Essay Topics. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/ideas/professional-development-essay-topics/

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1. StudyCorgi . "129 Professional Development Essay Topics." March 1, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/professional-development-essay-topics/.


StudyCorgi . "129 Professional Development Essay Topics." March 1, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/professional-development-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . 2022. "129 Professional Development Essay Topics." March 1, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/professional-development-essay-topics/.

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These essay examples and topics on Professional Development were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

This essay topic collection was updated on December 28, 2023 .

Personal and Professional Development Plan Self Evaluation Essay

People admire living a healthy and happy life despite the challenges that experience. They work hard to achieve their dreams, even though sometimes it becomes difficult to meet some targets. The desire to accomplish personal and professional goals pushes people to invest their time and money in various issues like education, training, health and research (Driessen and Tartwijk 196). This paper outlines my personal and professional development plan.

Strengths and Weaknesses

I am hardworking and believe in the possibility of achieving my dreams. I aspire to be a nurse leader and invest my time, money, body and skills to benefit all nursing stakeholders. Moreover, I plan my schedule properly to avoid lateness and ensure work is delivered before the deadline expiry. I do not postpone my responsibilities and believe that all work should be done at the correct time and place. My team leading skills, teamwork and cooperation enables me to work in diverse environments with partners from different backgrounds. I believe that research and additional training are necessary to expand my knowledge regarding leadership in nursing and that is why online and physical libraries have become my companions. However, I am very impatient and like things being done as soon as possible. I do not believe any person can outdo me in anything. Corrections and reprimands discourage me from doing my work properly. It is not easy to persuade me to change my mind once I am set to achieve a goal. Sometimes I overwork and this reduces my efficiency.

Identification and explanation of Resources to Be Used to Achieve My Plans

I have registered for personality development part-time classes to learn how to work with others without feeling offended when reprimanded. These classes are planned to help me manage organizational conflicts that occur when leaders have conflicting opinions. Part-time classes are scheduled to meet the specific needs of individuals and this means that I will learn how to develop my personality by knowing how to work with others (Hadar and Brody 154). Moreover, it will shape my perception towards corrections and reprimands and this will make me a better administrator. I am doing a lot of online research (journals and websites) on personality development to identify ways of correcting my weaknesses. The research includes reading testimonies of people who have successfully achieved personal and professional growth. There are numerous testimonies on the internet about people and how they managed personality weaknesses within a short time (Stone 44). Some of their weaknesses like being impatient and ignoring corrections from others are common in many people including me. I learn how they manage and avoid them in the future and that is why these testimonies are useful resources for my personality and professional growth. The people around me play important roles in shaping my personality by evaluating my behavior as an aspiring leader. Friends, family members and colleagues can monitor and advise me on my performance and this helps me to identify areas that require attention. They represent the whole society and the work environment and thus their expectations are similar to those of my future publics (Sonnino 37). Moreover, I use self-evaluation skills that include preparing a worksheet that shows my accomplishments in meeting my personal and professional development goals. It is easy to measure my performance using a daily checklist that shows the progress in developing my personality and professional development (Calderhead 15). Sometimes it is not easy to know whether an individual is changing without comparing behavioral statistics. Lastly, I benchmark my performance with that of other successful people around me to determine what I need to do to be like them. An administrator is supposed to possess excellent leadership and management skills (Moon 79). I spend a lot of time monitoring the performance of successful administrators and studying what they did to be where they are. In addition, they will be my role models and align my objective with theirs to ensure our paths are similar. The similarities between their aspirations and mine are likely to make me a good administrator in the future.

How I Will Be a World Changer in the Next Five Years

I aspire to change the world by becoming a better administrator. My objective is to introduce new energy to youths in administration and challenge the existing administrators to realize that their positions are not only reserved for the elderly. I would like to prove to them that age does not matter in offering quality services as an administrator. Secondly, I wish to challenge youths who want to be administrators when they are 40 years or older to know that this is their time to become leaders. I will motivate them to seek leadership positions in organizations and this will induce competition in managerial positions. Moreover, I will implement effective leadership that involves identifying the responsibilities of this position and how to combine various resources to maximize production and profits. I hope to become a personality and professional development speaker and guide people on how to become good managers in their organizations. This will involve helping them to identify their strengths and weaknesses and working on them to become better people. Lastly, I will transform the perception of managers by other employees and ensure they perceive each other as useful resources for achieving the objectives of an organization.

Works cited

Calderhead, James. “The contribution of research on teachers’ thinking to the professional development of teachers.” Research on Teacher Thinking: Understanding Professional Development 13.2 (2012): 11-18. Print.

Driessen, Erik and Jan van Tartwijk. “Portfolios in personal and professional development.” Understanding Medical Education: Evidence, Theory and Practice 16.4 (2013): 193-200. Print.

Hadar, Linor L. and David L. Brody. “The interaction between group processes and personal professional trajectories in a professional development community for teacher educators.” Journal of Teacher Education 64.2 (2013): 145-161. Print.

Moon, Jennifer A. Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice . New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Sonnino, Roberta E. “Professional development and leadership training opportunities for healthcare professionals.” The American Journal of Surgery 206.5 (2013): 727-731. Print.

Stone, Ashley. NASPA’s New Professionals Institute: Exploring the Personal and Professional Impact of a Two-Day, Intensive Professional Development Experience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2022, May 19). Personal and Professional Development Plan. https://ivypanda.com/essays/personal-and-professional-development-plan/

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Professional Development at Work, Essay Example

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Introduction and Thesis Statement Development

Providing people with career and professional development opportunities is an effective way of employee motivation. According to Stone et al. (2008), autonomous motivation has a great positive impact on employee satisfaction, retention, performance, and motivation. The below report will examine what the most successful ways of motivating and empowering workers are in an international organization.

The thesis statement the author would like to examine is as follows:

Employees who are provided with a personal professional development plan are more likely to participate in process improvement projects within the organization, and will feel a stronger connection with the company than those who are not given the opportunity to pursue their professional goals within the organization.

Literature Review and Research Development

Several authors talk about empowering employees through providing them with professional development opportunities. The Cornerstone project (2010) created an overview on the impact of employee empowerment. According to the authors, an empowered employee would be provided with the opportunity to do what they do best every day, while the workplace encourages their development, talks about their progress, and provides them with growth and learning opportunities.

The benefits of empowering employees through training and lifelong learning projects are evident for employees, but they can also provide several advantages for companies. The Cornerstone project (2010) lists some of the major competitive advantages gained by companies encouraging professional development of employees. First, a workplace where employees are empowered is more engaged. Quoting related statistics, the authors state that “companies with higher-than-average employee engagement also had 27 percent higher profits, 50 percent higher sales and 50 percent higher customer loyalty” (Cornerstone, 2010, p. 5). Further, studies show that workplaces where employees are encouraged to grow and learn have a higher overall performance and productivity level. Finally, at empowered workplaces, employees’ personal goals are more aligned with the organization’s vision and mission, and companies achieve a 144 percent increase in their ability to plan for future talent needs.

From the theoretical point of view, several frameworks can be applied to investigate the relationship between employee development and engagement. The Self-Determination Theory (SDT) states that people are more encouraged to do better if they feel like their values and goals are understood by the organization (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Therefore, instead of using the “carrot and stick” type of motivation, companies should start listening to employees, understanding their preferences, values, and aspirations, in order to support them in personal and professional growth. This approach can also lead to intrinsic motivation, described as a type of engagement between the company and the employee where “employees work for passion, pleasure, and interest. In contrast, integrated regulation occurs when people fully endorse the importance of the work even though they may not find it interesting” (Stone et al., 2008).

Goodall et al. (2005)  evaluated the impact of continuing professional development in schools on performance and motivation. Based on the results of the large scale survey carried out in the United Kingdom, the authors created some important recommendations for professionals creating professional development plans on an individual basis. First of all, evaluation of performance and training needs is crucial to delivering the most appropriate training schedule and materials. The impact of learning on motivation and job performance should also be measured by employers. Finally, the authors found that there was a need for differentiating learning and development programs, based on roles, personal needs, and background.

Literature Evaluation and Suggestions

Based on the above review of literature, it is evident that creating personal professional development plans for employees would have a positive impact on their motivation and engagement level. It is recommended by the sources analyzed that it is important to match the training provided to the needs of individuals, and listen to workers. Therefore, the best practices of creating a professional development plan at work should focus on collaboration, discussion, monitoring, and evaluation.

Several frameworks for motivating employees through training and career development opportunities have been created by researchers and HR professionals in the past few years. Zahra et al. (2014) found that “ongoing training of current employees is as important as of new employees; it helps them to adapt their daily routine work according to rapidly changing job requirements and to improve their performance on current job and prepares them for an intended job”. Reviewing several frameworks related to professional development, the most customizable and democratic model was found to be Bramley’s Individual Model of Training. This framework’s strength lies in its complexity and the individual consideration. Suitable training is offered on an individual basis, after assessing experience, competencies, and training needs. Through enhancing individual performance of employees, companies can benefit from a relevant and motivated talent pool that they can turn into organizational competencies and competitive advantages.

The main steps of professional development frameworks at the workplace, however, are similar. The process starts with the training needs analysis (including training gap analysis), followed by designing the different phases of training and setting clear objectives. All models also emphasize the need for evaluating the program’s effectiveness, completing employee interviews, and monitoring progress.

It is recommended that companies planning to design professional development programs create individual plans based on the following elements of design: gap identification, training needs assessment, goal and objective setting based on discussions with employees, creating a training program design, hiring trainers or purchasing programs, creating methods of motivation, and providing ongoing support. It is also important to reward trainee employees based on their achievement, and monitor the effectiveness in order to initiate changes that would make the professional development plan more rewarding for both the company and the employee.

It is important based on the findings of the above research that companies encourage employees in achieving their personal and professional goals. Employees seeking learning and development opportunities will face two options. They could stay within their current roles and settle for less, or look for another company that would help them become the professional they would like to be. If the company does not encourage learning at the workplace, retention and employee motivation, as well as work morale will be negatively affected. This is the reason why companies should work together with their employees to foster their aspirations and provide career development opportunities. This will increase employee engagement, help aligning individual goals with the organization’s culture, increase productivity, and employee motivation. As a result, companies will gain skills through employee training that are necessary for facing the challenges of today’s highly competitive business environment.

Career and Professional Development Plan

In the retail environment of the company FootLocker, it is important that employees remain connected to the brand and motivated. It has been found that employee motivation has a positive impact on job performance and customer service. Therefore, it is recommended that FootLocker’s local store implements a professional development program that suits employees’ and the company’s needs.

There are several training methods the company could implement: co-funding college education and certificate programs, online learning, coaching and classroom based customer service lessons, or on-job professional development. Before deciding on which method to choose, the company will need to identify training needs of the company, and find the relevant available courses to meet the expectations.

In the retail environment, training needs are generally concentrated around customer service, time management, communication, and managing people. FootLocker has recently realized that filling internal managerial roles makes the organization more effective, and employees who used to work alongside with their manager are more likely to accept their authority and communicate openly with them. This results in a better team performance, better alignment of goals, and a greater level of understanding among team members. It is also proven that filling upcoming managerial roles internally through fostering talent would increase employee motivation and make workers feel appreciated and respected.

Further, it is important that training programs are designed to meet current and future job requirements and are relevant to employees’ roles. In FootLocker, most personnel needs communication and interpersonal skills on a daily basis. They, on the other hand, also need to adapt to changes within the market and in the company. Most employees face diversity at work and need to deal with culturally diverse customers. Therefore, training programs based on sales, communication, empathy, diversity, inclusion, and team building would benefit the company in particular.

Needs Assessment

It is recommended that the company focuses on individual training needs based on regular appraisal results and discussions with line managers. In order to assess individual training needs, there is a need to implement an effective tool for employee skills evaluation. Performance reviews should include career planning and development sections, and self-evaluation forms as well, in order to provide workers with recognition of prior learning. Without the company knowing about the current skill set and education level of employees, it would not be able to tailor professional development programs to individual needs. An employee training and training needs questionnaire needs to be developed to help line managers develop training plans.

Training Gaps Assessment

This assessment would not only focus on the existing skills of employees and competencies needed for doing the job, but also review the company’s current practices related to new employees’ training and coaching. This way, the company can identify training goals and gaps that exist within FootLocker, and adjust the basic employee integration processes to the needs of the company, market, and employees. Training gaps assessment needs to be completed on a regular basis, as the competitive landscape of the retail industry is in constant change.

Creating Learning Management Programs

It has been identified that college education programs are not relevant to the roles in FootLocker, therefore, skills development and customer service courses need to be assessed and selected based on the completed needs and gap assessment. Today, there are many online certification modules available through interactive classrooms and online learning. These cost-effective courses are able to help employees do their jobs better, and improve their leadership skills. Two types of training programs need to be created: one for employees willing to remain in the retail environment, and dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis, and one for team members planning to pursue a career in management.

Training Program Development

The simplest and most flexible way of developing training programs within the company is to create a list of modules that are available based on previous training and qualifications, role, and career goals. All modules could be combined on an individual basis, therefore, training would be made suitable for individual needs. The training program modules should be covering the following aspects of current and future roles:

  • diversity and inclusion training
  • understanding customer needs
  • effective communication
  • team building
  • leading change
  • brainstorming
  • personal target management
  • motivating buying behavior
  • building rapport
  • leading teams
  • motivating employees
  • dealing with difficult situations


After selecting the online training company to deliver the interactive modules, during the following appraisal and performance review meeting, line managers would discuss individual training need and make a decision along with team members. It is recommended that the line manager and the employee together create a schedule and completion target, with regular review meetings. Personal learning development will be reviewed during these meetings, as well as the career progression opportunities within the company. Employees who are motivated to move on to leadership roles would need to be provided with advice and guidance in order to feel appreciated and motivated. Presenting team members with leadership opportunities to support their transition, such as leading projects within the company or taking part in organizing events would help them get ready for their further role. Coaching, therefore, should be a crucial part of the implementation process.

Evaluation and Monitoring

Employees’ experience with the professional development program’s delivery should be evaluated. Competencies of staff before and after taking part in the courses should also be measured to determine the effectiveness of each module.

Cornerstone (2010) T he empowered workforce: crucial to success in the new economy . Ondemand.

Goodall, J., Day, C., Lindsay, G., Muijs, D., & Harris, A. (2005).  Evaluating the impact of continuing professional development (CPD) (No. Reference: RR659). London: Department for Education and Skills.

Stone, D. N., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2009). Beyond talk: Creating autonomous motivation through self-determination theory. Journal of General Management ,  34 (3), 75.

Zahra, S., Iram, A., & Naeem, H. Employee Training and Its Effect on Employees’ Job Motivation and Commitment: Developing and Proposing a Conceptual Model.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Professionalism — The Methods of Professional Development


The Methods of Professional Development

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Published: Mar 28, 2019

Words: 820 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read

  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Graduate Training Scheme
  • Job Rotation
  • Inductee Training

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Online Free Samples

Professional Development Essay: Critical Reflection On Skills And Knowledge

Task: The purpose of the reflective essay is to develop a clear and inspiring vision of what you want to achieve in your career. In the essay student need to succinctly review the literature, particularly focusing on skills important to the development of their career/profession and how it will make a positive difference in his/her career/profession along with a role of a professional manage. Students are expected to critique the literature and to adheres to the word limit. Essay should also contain reference list written in Harvard style. Given below are some guidelines that are useful for writing the assignment.

Section 1: Understanding and Analysis . Describe what is the meaning of professional development and why it is important. How you can relate the idea of professional development with your career vision. What is your career mission statement?

Section 2:  Literature Review. Review the important of skills on career development and discuss why you believe your selected skills are important for today’s managers? You should be referring to wider source of reference, preferably peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Section 3:  Skill Identification and Critical analysis . This section should present critical analysis of skills that are important for your desired professional position. You should also need to refer to the recent job advertisement (as an evidence this should be attached as an Appendix in your report) of a professional position of your interest and present critical analysis of skill gap (of what you possess and what is required). To support your analysis, you may refer to wider credible sources to link skills to the advertised position.

Introduction The present professional development essay revolves around the concept of personal development that is an important aspect of life as it assists in reflecting upon the skills and attributes that fare required for professional growth. In this professional development essay, I will illustrate the necessity and importance of professional development and the way it has helped me in analyzing my skills and knowledge. The skills that are required for my professional development will be explored in a detailed manner and the way I am planning to make use of professional development in order to improvise my skill will be discussed in a detailed manner. The importance of skill for career development will also be highlighted.

Professional development method

Discussion Professional development is the method of maintaining significant professional credentials such as formal coursework’s, academic degrees; informal learning that can be situated into practice, attending conferences and more (Rubens et al., 2018). It is a way with the help of which skill and knowledge are enhanced so that professionally an individual can increase their own performance. The five principles of professional development explored in this professional development essay states that firstly professional development should have a significant duration and must be ongoing so that individual is able to learn new strategies for problems, secondly the individual should have appropriate support and guidance during the implementation stage that will help in changing practices, thirdly individual should collaborate with a community that are implementing similar changes. fourth stage suggests that online mediums can be adopted that can help in enhancing professional development, lastly the five core features of professional development best practice should be kept in mid such as coherence with standards and policies, integrated contents and pedagogy, active learning opportunity, mentoring and individual learning.

professional development approaches

There are various approaches discussed in the context of this professional development essay that can contribute towards professional development such as coaching, consultations, communities of practice, mentoring, lesson study, technical assistance and reflective supervision. It is analyzed that continuous professional development is essential and important because it helps us in ensuring we continue to be increasingly competent in our professional field (Pucciarelli and Kaplan, 2018). It is considered as a continuous and on-going process throughout our professional career. Through professional development, we are able to encourage ourselves to learn new skills and gain new knowledge which helps us in overcoming new challenges at the workplace and makes us more efficient and competent at the workplace. It is evident that with increased globalization the competition among employees is also increasing and in order to capture and gain lucrative opportunities, it is essential to possess all the vital knowledge and skills. A career mission statement helps in providing a clear purpose for future developments. Professional development can be associated with a career vision statement as any mission statement has been created with the aim of improving performance (Campbell, 2017). In order to improve any performance or support employees, the study developed in this professional development essay illustrates that it is essential that the individual himself should possess adequate skill and knowledge which can be developed with the help of professional development. Therefore professional development helps in improving competencies that in turn help in focusing on the career mission statement and allows us to achieve our visions and goals in a positive manner. My career mission statement is “to support and inspire individuals in order to enhance their capabilities and improvise their skills and become more competent and active”. As it can be observed that my mission is to inspire and help other individuals to enhance their skill it is necessary that in order to achieve this mission statement I must possess all the vital skills and knowledge so that I am able to help and support others. Professional development will help me in continuously learning new skills and improving my skills and knowledge along with the present changes and trends and therefore I will be able to achieve my mission statement.

According to Cottrell (2017), it can be analysed in this segment of professional development essay that skill development is the method that assists in recognising our skill gaps and helps us in developing the lacking skill set. Skill development is necessary because our skills help in determining our ability to execute a task or a plan in a successful manner. It is significant to develop necessary and required skill set for a successful career. It is evident that skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, time management and more are necessary in order to improve the performance of an individual (Ritter et al., 2018). Skills are an important part of an individual as it helps in analysing and understanding the capabilities and competencies of an individual and based on that they are approaches for professional opportunities. For instance, if a job opening for a marketing manager is available then all the candidates applying for the position will not get the job. Only the candidate that has all the necessary skills that a marketing manager should possess will get the job as other candidates that do not possess the skills will not be able to carry out the tasks and duties of a marketing manager. Therefore this example helps in understanding that skills are necessary as it categorises individuals as per their capabilities and competencies and therefore, in order to become successful in a professional career one must possess all the skills as well as knowledge. The professional development essay examines the readings of Prajapati et al. (2017) that skills are vital as they help in enhancing thinking abilities and helps in improving problem-solving. It helps us in understanding the impact of our activities and allows us to take up responsibilities in a confident manner as we are sure that we will be able to perform the actions as well possess the skills. Skills are considered vital for confidence development and confidence is vital to gain an increased and successful career opportunity (Jackson, 2015). Skills are categorized under two basic categories such as soft skills which deal with people’s skill, communication skill, social skill, personality attitude and trade. On the other hand, hard skills are measurable or teachable abilities such as reading, writing and more.

Managers are a significant part of an organisation as they have a primary responsibility of ensuring that all the goals and objectives of the organisation are well met so that the performance of the firm increases in the market. As per the investigation on professional development essay, it is noted that in order to become a successful manager, there are a number of skills that must be possessed by an individual so that they are able to manage an entire workforce and guide them in their duties. I would like to address my perception in this professional development essay that a manager should possess planning skills, communication, and decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, and motivating skills. As per Divleli and Ergun (2015), planning is one of the most essential duties of a manager they are responsible to allocate duties to the employees based on their skills and knowledge so that the tasks are completed successfully and the organisation is able to meet its goals. Managers are required to interact and communicate with employees, make them understand their duties, guide them with their tasks and help them in their problems. Therefore having excellent communication is one of the most important skills to be a successful manager. In addition, it is observed that as the business environment changes many times managers are required to make a decision that will benefit the business and assist in its growth. In order to make a beneficial and reasonable decision that decision making the skill of the manager should be appropriate. A business encounters many challenges and problems while operating in the competitive market active problem-solving skills help in finding creative and innovative solutions for problems, therefore managers are required to have excellent problem-solving skills. As stated by Kiruja and Mukuru (2018), it is also noted in this professional development essay that managers should possess, motivating skills, employees in business may feel low due to increased competition or work pressure, therefore, it is the responsibility of the managers to motivate and encourage the employees to remain positive and active towards their duties so that enhanced outcomes can be gained.

problem-solving skills in professional-development-essay

I aspire to become a business development manager at Hardygroup and in order to gain this position; there are certain skills that must be possessed by me. Some of the most significant skill required for this position includes communication skills, good business knowledge, negotiation skills, organisational skills and creativity. As per my self-reflection, I can analyse that my soft skills such as communication skill is excellent and I am confident at speaking with my colleagues and friends. In addition, I am quite creative as I participate in most of the problem-solving activities and try to work on my creative knowledge. I am always trying to think of unique and innovative ideas so I am able to enhance my creativity. However, some of the my soft skills such as negotiation skills, and other hard skills such as business knowledge and organisational skills are quite inappropriate and therefore, lack of these significant skills will reduce my chances of capturing the job opportunity and therefore I am planning to work on improving these skills. I need to improve my lacking skills so that I am suitable for the position.

In order to improve my negotiation skill, I will take up a class in which I can work and learn about negotiation, the activities of the class will help me in practising negotiation ad will improve my knowledge in this area. I will also keep practising this at home and with peers so that I can improve this skill as it is necessary. In order to work on my business knowledge, I will enrol in a business course which will allow me to gain an understanding and also expose me to the business world. The course will also allow me to understand the challenge in difficulties that are experienced by a business I will be able to understand the working environment and it will benefit me in my career development. Business knowledge is a vital skill and joining courses to improve my skill is essential. Lastly, I will have to increase my organisational skills and therefore in order to do that I will take up an internship in a good repute organisation so that I am able to gain practical knowledge regarding the ways a business operates. I will be able to experience the challenges and learn from the situation. Internship helps in gaining knowledge and also improves our skills, we are able to understand work pressure and the way we need to behave and the attitudes that help us in a workplace.

Conclusion In this professional development essay, we can conclude that professionally develops is important as it allows us to work on our skill and professional knowledge so that we are capable and competent. I analysed that significance and importance of skill development and the way skills help in gaining attractive career opportunities. Skills are significant as they help in understanding the capabilities of an individual and based on its job and employment offers are provided. I have discussed the skills of a manager and the ways these skill sets are used by a manager in order to carry out their roles in a business. In addition, I have conducted a self-analysis regarding the skills that are lacking in me as compared to skills that are required for the job I desire to achieve. In the above professional development essay, I have also discussed the ways I am planning to work and improve my skills in order to be appropriate for the job position and gain the opportunity.

Reference List Campbell, C., 2017. Professional development essay Developing Teachers' Professional Learning: Canadian Evidence and Experiences in a World of Educational Improvement. Canadian Journal of Education, 40(2), p.n2.

Cottrell, S., 2017. Critical thinking skills: Effective analysis, argument and reflection. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Divleli, M.S. and Ergun, E., 2015. MANAGER EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY: THE EFFECT OF SKILLS ON DIFFERENT LEVEL MANAGEMENT. International Journal of Management & Human Resources, 3(1).

Jackson, D., 2015. Employability skill development in work-integrated learning: Barriers and best practice. Studies in Higher Education, 40(2), pp.350-367.

Kiruja, E.K. and Mukuru, E., 2018. Professional development essay Effect of motivation on employee performance in public middle level Technical Training Institutions in Kenya. IJAME.

Prajapati, R.K., Sharma, B. and Sharma, D., 2017. Significance of Life Skills Education. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 10(1), pp.1-6.

Pucciarelli, F. and Kaplan, A., 2016. Competition and strategy in higher education: Managing complexity and uncertainty. Business Horizons, 59(3), pp.311-320.

Ritter, B.A., Small, E.E., Mortimer, J.W. and Doll, J.L., 2018. Designing management curriculum for workplace readiness: Developing students’ soft skills. Journal of Management Education, 42(1), pp.80-103.

Rubens, A., Schoenfeld, G.A., Schaffer, B.S. and Leah, J.S., 2018. Self-awareness and leadership: Developing an individual strategic professional development plan in an MBA leadership course. Professional development essay The International Journal of Management Education, 16(1), pp.1-13.


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  • Essay on Nursing

Sample Essay On Professional Development

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Nursing , Workplace , Patient , Medicine , Breastfeeding , Education , Situation , Career

Words: 1600

Published: 11/27/2020


How Does Policy Influence Your Decision

As per the hospital’s policy, emergency care can only be provided to patients that need immediate medical attention or intervention and in situations where a transfer to county facilities is not possible. From the situation, it seems a baseline physical examination has not been carried out, and one cannot entirely base a patient’s condition based on experiences. It would be prudent first to ensure that the patient is not in need of immediate medical attention despite the fact that the patient has been binge drinking. It would be important first to sit down with her and make her understand the situation why policy has to be followed. Ordering a baseline physical examination would be significant in ensuring that the patient is not in need of immediate medical attention, and this would allow for transfer to the county facility in case the condition is not that serious. Furthermore, a different physician would be used for the test since the earlier one seems to be angry and may not be in the right frame of mind while conducting the test. It is important to ensure the daughter understands that, in case, the father is not in a serious medical condition you would have to follow hospital policy and order a transfer.

If there were no limitations on resource allocations

No limitations on resource allocations may make the decision easier to some extent but not entirely. One has to deal with the frustrated physician in this situation. There may be challenges of availability of physicians or even only one physician may be available at the time. If the physician indicates that, he cannot perform a physical examination on the patient, then a situation of neglect may arise, and patients may think that they are being discriminated. The problem needs to be addressed from a multidimensional perspective. As a nurse leader, the aim is to advocate for policies and decisions that will help the patient. Despite issues of rising medical costs, a nurse has an obligation to the patient. Such a process helps a nurse to develop values and act more strongly towards addressing the needs of the patient no matter the situation. Patient safety and provision of quality care become important and such instances are addressed by ensuring that the patient does not need urgent medical attention.

How will you meet the new budget restrictions?

Since most of the cuts must come from the personnel budgets, it is important to understand that tough decisions and alternatives have to be made that will affect some of the employees. Already the initial step in trying to have a common understanding of what will happen ahead has already taken place and employees are not voluntarily going to leave their jobs. Thus, an analysis or job evaluation may be significant in making a decision on what to do next. Firstly, from a personal opinion a reduction in my salary can be helpful as a first step in ensuring that some savings are achieved. Secondly, a sufficient reduction in the number of the patient population may be critical. However, since the goal of the hospital is to help treat individuals, a reduction of the patient population will be done based on the level of seriousness of the condition of a patient. In making a decision on which employees to retain and which ones to let go, it will be prudent to evaluate their importance based on the level of necessity patients needs them. Based on Mrs. Potter experience letting her go completely may be disastrous to the organization. As such, an option of changing her contract to work part-time and reducing her salary would help in addressing the situation. Already based on her situation, she will be able to support herself and plus having her part-time job may be critical in assisting the staff to maneuver through the different challenges that she may have experienced in her long career. Mrs. Long would have to be let go as her only motivation for doing her work is for her personal needs. Her job description would have to be distributed to the other staff. Furthermore, it is important for the agency to maintain licensed staff being at a higher percentage that will cut on costs (Marquis and Huston, 2015). Additionally all other staff members would have to take mandatory pay cuts, which would be dependent on a person's family and personal obligations. Such a decision to retain all other employees may provide the least disruption to the operation of the agency. The challenge the employees will have to deal with is the extra workload. Group decision making can be involved in this situation in the initial stages, if the group comes up with ways of addressing the fiscal problem, then it becomes easier for the agency to implement and function. However, sometimes group decisions may not develop a solution to a problem, which then leaves the project director with the sole responsibility of making decisions to ensure the functioning of the agency. It is important to consider value judgment in making fiscal decisions since, ignoring them may have consequences on patient safety. According to Marquis and Huston (2015), cost containment emanating from budget restrictions should not put the patient’s life at risk. Thus, value judgment becomes important.

10-Year Career Plan

In the next ten years, it is crucial that I ensure balancing of my work life and personal life. As a nurse, I plan to ensure that I get proper training and experience the nursing field through different opportunities and internships. To get to where I am at the moment I have scarified a lot in terms of time and energy and for the next ten years will have to sacrifice even more since, responsibilities such as families will arise. Developing goals will ensure that I do not sway from attaining the desires of by nursing profession and ensure that any change that happens is geared towards fostering my nursing career.

I plan on finishing and graduating my bachelor’s degree to ensure that I get the minimum qualifications to jumpstart my career. It is crucial getting clinical experience in the initial years as a graduate nurse. Inside the first two years after graduation, I need to have secured a job or an internship where I can gain the relevant clinical experience. A good starting point will be to be a nurse’s aide.

Working in the different medical departments will be significant to understand how the different areas of nursing are related. It will be important to ensure I gain sufficient knowledge of how the different departments of specialty such as orthopedics or oncology operate and what they entail. Exposure to the different departments will aid me in deciding what areas I will specialize. I will seek to become a registered nurse. This will entail ensuring that I work in an organization that provides registered nurses residencies. This will provide an opportunity for guidance and what challenges to expect in the future, through the structured curricula it provides (Turner, 2007).

Through the course of the nursing job, I will enroll for evening classes for a master’s degree. Additionally, in the course of my job and during free time I will enroll to do short certification courses in different skill sets that may be beneficial in the nursing jobs. Increasing knowledge may be beneficial in ensuring I get sufficient pay rise as I progress in my career. I hope to achieve my masters after the first five years of working.

At least after I have managed to complete my master’s degree, I will be hoping to start a family. Reducing additional studying will provide me time to handle my young family and provide support to my aging parents.

I will seek to become a member in several professional nursing organizations. Depending on the area or state where I will be working, it will be important to register with the regulatory and professional nursing bodies. This will provide me with opportunities to attend conferences that may provide valuable education and progress in the nursing field on different procedures and policies.

Strategy I will seek the assistance and support of my family as I journey through my career. It will not be easy as constraints such as fiancés and supporting and caring for my family will be experienced. Developing a healthy life-work balance will be important to ensure that I achieve my goals. As such, my partner and I will aid in each other in terms of finances and taking care of our family obligations so that they do not clash with our careers. This will mean that when one individual will be doing their studies, one will be focused on taking care of the family responsibilities and when they finish one will take over the responsibilities the other person goes back to school.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. Turner, S. O. (2007). The nursing career planning guide. Sudbury, Mass. ; Toronto: Jones and Bartlett.


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  • 05 February 2024

First passages of rolled-up Herculaneum scroll revealed

  • Jo Marchant 0

Jo Marchant is a science journalist based in London.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

You have full access to this article via your institution.

Three rows of yellow papyrus with black writing in columns, on a black background.

Text from the Herculaneum scroll, which has been unseen for 2,000 years. Credit: Vesuvius Challenge

A team of student researchers has made a giant contribution to solving one of the biggest mysteries in archaeology by revealing the content of Greek writing inside a charred scroll buried 2,000 years ago by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The winners of a contest called the Vesuvius Challenge trained their machine-learning algorithms on scans of the rolled-up papyrus, unveiling a previously unknown philosophical work that discusses the senses and pleasure. The feat paves the way for artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to decipher the rest of the scrolls in their entirety, something that researchers say could have revolutionary implications for our understanding of the ancient world.

professional development essays

AI reads text from ancient Herculaneum scroll for the first time

The achievement has ignited the usually slow-moving world of ancient studies. It’s “what I always thought was a pipe dream coming true”, says Kenneth Lapatin, curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California. The revealed text discusses sources of pleasure including music, the taste of capers and the colour purple. “It’s an historic moment,” says classicist Bob Fowler at the University of Bristol, UK, one of the prize judges. The three students, from Egypt, Switzerland and the United States, who revealed the text share a US$700,000 grand prize.

The scroll is one of hundreds of intact papyri excavated in the eighteenth century from a luxury Roman villa in Herculaneum, Italy. These lumps of carbonized ash — known as the Herculaneum scrolls — constitute the only library that survives from the ancient world, but are too fragile to open.

The winning entry, announced on 5 February, reveals hundreds of words across 15 columns of text, corresponding to around 5% of a scroll. “The contest has cleared the air on all the people saying will this even work,” says Brent Seales, a computer scientist at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and co-founder of the prize. “Nobody doubts that anymore.”

Twenty-year mission

In the centuries after the scrolls were discovered, many people have attempted to open them, destroying some and leaving others in pieces. Papyrologists are still working to decipher and stitch together the resulting, horribly fragmented, texts. But the chunks with the worst charring — the most hopeless cases, adding up to perhaps 280 entire scrolls — were left intact. Most are held in the National Library in Naples, Italy, with a few in Paris, London and Oxford, UK.

A carbonized scroll rests on weighing scales.

This Herculaneum scroll was burnt and buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Credit: Vesuvius Challenge

Seales has been trying to read these concealed texts for nearly 20 years. His team developed software to “virtually unwrap” the surfaces of rolled-up papyri using 3D computed tomography (CT) images. In 2019, he took two of the scrolls from the Institut de France in Paris to the Diamond Light Source particle accelerator near Oxford to make high-resolution scans.

Mapping the surfaces was time consuming, however, and the carbon-based ink used to write the scrolls has the same density as papyrus, so it was impossible to differentiate in CT scans. Seales and his colleagues wondered whether machine-learning models might be trained to ‘unwrap’ the scrolls and distinguish the ink. But making sense of all the data was a gigantic task for his small team.

Seales was approached by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Nat Friedman, who had become intrigued by the Herculaneum scrolls after watching a talk by Seales online. Friedman suggested opening the challenge to contestants. He donated $125,000 to launch the effort and raised hundreds of thousands more on Twitter, and Seales released his software along with the high-resolution scans. The team launched the Vesuvius Challenge in March 2023, setting a grand prize for reading 4 passages, of at least 140 characters each, before the end of the year.

Key to the contest’s success was its “blend of competition and cooperation”, says Friedman. Smaller prizes were awarded along the way to incentivize progress, with the winning machine-learning code released at each stage to “level up” the community so contestants could build on each other’s advances.

The colour purple

A key innovation came in the middle of last year, when US entrepreneur and former physicist Casey Handmer noticed a faint texture in the scans, similar to cracked mud — he called it “crackle” — that seemed to form the shapes of Greek letters. Luke Farritor, an undergraduate studying computer science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, used the crackle to train a machine-learning algorithm, revealing the word porphyras , ‘purple’, which won him the prize for unveiling the first letters in October . An Egyptian computer-science PhD student at the Free University of Berlin, Youssef Nader, followed with even clearer images of the text and came second.

A team of researchers used machine learning to image the shapes of ink on the rolled-up scroll. Credit: Vesuvius Challenge

Their code was released with less than three months for contestants to scale up their reads before the 31 December deadline for the final prize. “We were biting our nails,” says Friedman. But in the final week, the competition received 18 submissions. A technical jury checked entrants’ code, then passed 12 submissions to a committee of papyrologists who transcribed the text and assessed each entry for legibility. Only one fully met the prize criteria: a team formed by Farritor and Nader, along with Julian Schilliger, a robotics student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The results are “incredible”, says judge Federica Nicolardi, a papyrologist at the University of Naples Federico II. “We were all completely amazed by the images they were showing.” She and her colleagues are now racing to analyse the text that has been revealed.

Music, pleasure and capers

The content of most of the previously opened Herculaneum scrolls relates to the Epicurean school of philosophy, founded by the Athenian philosopher Epicurus, who lived from 341 to 270 bc . The scrolls seem to have formed the working library of a follower of Epicurus named Philodemus. The new text doesn’t name the author but from a rough first read, say Fowler and Nicolardi, it is probably also by Philodemus. As well as pleasurable tastes and sights, it refers to a figure called Xenophantus, possibly a flute-player of that name mentioned by the ancient authors Seneca and Plutarch, whose evocative playing apparently caused Alexander the Great to reach for his weapons.

Lapatin says the topics discussed by Philodemus and Epicurus are still relevant: “The basic questions Epicurus was asking are the ones that face us all as humans. How do we live a good life? How do we avoid pain?” But “the real gains are still ahead of us”, he says. “What’s so exciting to me is less what this scroll says, but that the decipherment of this scroll bodes well for the decipherment of the hundreds of scrolls that we had previously given up on.”

There is likely to be more Greek philosophy in the scrolls: “I’d love it if he had some works by Aristotle,” says papyrologist and prize judge Richard Janko at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, some of the opened scrolls, written in Latin, cover a broader subject area, raising the possibility of lost poetry and literature by writers from Homer to Sappho. The scrolls “will yield who knows what kinds of new secrets”, says Fowler. “We’re all very excited.”

The achievement is also likely to fuel debate over whether further investigations should be conducted at the Herculaneum villa, entire levels of which have never been excavated. Janko and Fowler are convinced that the villa’s main library was never found, and that thousands more scrolls could still be underground. More broadly, the machine-learning techniques pioneered by Seales and the Vesuvius Challenge contestants could now be used to study other types of hidden text, such as cartonnage, recycled papyri often used to wrap Egyptian mummies.

The next step is to decipher an entire work. Friedman has announced a new set of Vesuvius Challenge prizes for 2024, with the aim of reading 90% of a scroll by the end of the year. But in the meantime, just getting this far “feels like a miracle”, he says. “I can’t believe it worked.”

Nature 626 , 461-462 (2024)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-00346-8

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