Today’s fast-paced and dynamic world means that opportunities to learn new skills and grow professionally are practically boundless for those who want to seize them. We’ve identified a few key actions to take to ensure that you’re on the right path forward.
- Consistent Training & Development. Training and development are critical for any professional. It helps you improve your performance and helps your organization meet its business goals. Building new skills makes an individual more efficient at a job or capable of handling different responsibilities and challenges. A professional who receives the necessary training is better able to perform one’s job. The training strengthens your confidence because you have a deeper understanding of your role and responsibilities to perform even better and think of new ideas that help you excel.
- Motivate and push yourself by training with others. Connecting with like-minded individuals in your field with similar goals can excite and inspire you to achieve more. Learning alongside your peers gives you the opportunity to discuss principles and a sounding board for ideas and may even ignite a competitive spark in you that pushes you toward more than you may achieve individually. Your peer group may also help keep you accountable to your objectives.
- Be realistic. Give yourself grace and don’t set unrealistic goals you can’t achieve. That simply sets you up for disappointment and demotivation. Think of your long-term overarching goal as a staircase with steps that are smaller objectives that you can achieve one at a time. Not only does this help you organize and focus on what you need to do to achieve your overall goal, but it helps keep you motivated by allowing you to celebrate smaller achievements along the way.
- Get involved and build your network. In addition to finding a good mentor and peers, your financial services professional growth is contingent upon your network. As you grow your network, you’ll find the people who can connect you with important resources, new clients, and development opportunities. Find new associations by being active in the community, joining professional groups related to your field, asking for introductions, and staying active on professional social media platforms.
- Read and find professional development opportunities. The world is always changing, now at a more rapid pace than ever. New regulations and technology are being introduced nearly daily and you have to keep up to stay relevant in the field and meet client demands. To do so, it’s important to keep learning by reading articles, blogs, and books related to both the financial services field and other areas relevant to your career, such as management, client services, and business ownership. We’re inundated with information in today’s world, so it’s hard to sort through the noise and the multitude of resources, but you should find a few you trust and seek them out on a regular basis. It’s also important to regularly attend conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.
You’re in ultimate control of your career, but keep in mind that professional development isn’t all on you. Strive to find an employer committed to providing you development opportunities through flexible scheduling, tuition reimbursement, and ongoing training budget and program, access to senior professionals, and more as part of their ongoing investment in you.