The Need for Professional Development

April 17, 2007 Christian Sepulveda

People need professional development, whether conscious of this or not. It is my
opinion that one of the most common reasons people change jobs is the lack of
professional development.

Boredom and the lack of a challenge are common reasons people cite when leaving
a job. This is a cry for professional development; their new job provides a new
context with new challenges,which stimulate the individual, encouraging new
perspectives and the assimilation of new information.

It is preferable for everyone that the employee does not have to take such
drastic measures as changing jobs to satisfy the need for professional
development. Unfortunately many companies, particularly startups, do not have
any program for professional development, even if only an informal one. There is
too much to do and never enough time; how can you expect a fledgling company to
spend scarce resources on developing employees? Most would rather hire
individuals with the skill set required for the job and not be responsible for
their development.

Herein lies a common mistake; many employers confuse developing employees with
hiring for established skills. They are independent as current skills addresses
short term needs whereas professional development addresses long term concerns
of retention, satisfaction and future skill requirements.

Considering the cost and time required for recruitment and training, it is
foolish for an organization to dismiss professional development, regardless of
the “good reasons”. Like character in individuals, it is telling if an
organization will respond to its challenges rather than succumb to excuses. An
organization’s commitment or negligence regarding professional development
reveals much about its values. For many employees, this will be a greater cause
to change jobs.

About the Author


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