This week is Learning at Work Week (13–19 May), and to celebrate, we’re talking about CPD – continuing professional development.
CPD is the process of tracking your knowledge and skills, and investing time in your own training and development at work. It is reflective – it requires you to think about the things you have learned, to reflect on what you would do differently next time, and to set goals and targets for yourself for the future. Most importantly, it involves writing these things down, so that you have a permanent record of your own development.
We’ve talked before about how to do CPD as a business owner, but today we’re focusing on why it’s important, and why you should make time for it.
Level up your skills
At its most basic level, CPD allows you to build upon your existing skills and learn new ones. But it’s not just about going to all the training courses and conferences you can – it’s about becoming aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, and identifying the areas that really need improvement, so that you can better invest your time (and money) in your own development. In this way, CPD is a mindful process. By constantly reflecting on your own abilities and working on the areas that need improvement, you will become a more accomplished and well-rounded person, which will have clear benefits for your business.
Prepare yourself for the future
You probably don’t want to do exactly what you’re doing now, forever. Perhaps you would like to grow your business, branch out into a new field or start an entirely new venture. Whatever your plans for the future, CPD can help you get there. The first thing to do is write down your aspirations, then consider the gap between where you are now and where you’d like to be, and what you need to do to get there. Big dreams can feel unattainable until you start to break them down into small, achievable steps – and this incremental building-up of knowledge is exactly what CPD is all about.
Reflect on the past
When you run a business, it can be very easy to think only about the present (the day-to-day tasks you have to do now) and the future (your goals for next week, next quarter, next year), and forget how far you’ve already come. CPD is an invaluable tool for keeping a record of the past and forcing you to recognise your own achievements. It provides a written record of everything you’ve done, how you felt at the time and the lessons you learned. Looking back on these records can help to ground you and refine your focus onto the things that really matter to you.
Set an example
You are not alone in your business, and making time for CPD will set a great example to the other people around you – whether they’re your employees or fellow business owners. Taking your own training and personal development seriously can be inspirational to other people who might feel like they’re struggling at work, or who have aspirations for running their own businesses in the future.
To find out more about how other companies are celebrating Learn at Work Week, and to help spread the message about CPD, check out the Learn at Work Week website.
Do you need someone to handle your emails or answer the phone while you’re working on your CPD? Get Ahead VA has a team of dedicated, professional virtual assistants who are ready to help with all your business administration needs. We’d love to chat with you and find out exactly how we can help, so please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.