When’s the Best Time for Your Professional Development

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So when’s the best time for your professional development?

Most people I meet agree that professional development is important but often they can’t find a “good” time.  It’s easy to put it off because there are almost always more pressing needs of the company, boss, friends, and family.

But there’s one specific time of year you can often bank on for your own professional development.

It can be used to:

  • Build upon your strengths
  • Prepare your next career move
  • Expand your perspective beyond the day-to-day Grind

I’m happy to share this golden time I discovered a few years ago.

The “Golden Time” for Your Professional Development

I used to work in logistics for the largest sporting goods retailer in the US.

I often suffered through a great deal of work and stress leading up to any major holiday.  We had very tight deadlines to get the products on the shelves, and any disruption could mean disappointed customers and lost sales.

This holiday stress was particularly rough for the big two…

Black Friday and Christmas

I’d find myself constantly checking my email as the workload came to a crescendo; then the week after the holiday we’d scramble to replenish the stores.

But the week after that was a major opportunity.

It was a “golden” week because it was the best time to catch up on all the work I’d been putting off.  Also it was the time to invest in my own professional development.

I looked forward to it so much that it helped me keep going during the weeks leading up to the holiday push.

Create Your Own Professional Development Time

This week became so important to me that I curated what I wanted to do very carefully.  I’d often plan on reading a book or taking a course for my own professional development.

This is a habit I still have today.

In fact the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day last year, I dove into the subject of writing a book which supported my biggest project of the year.

Previous years I used this time to:

  • Explore my personal strengths
  • Boost my negotiating skills
  • Begin a new coach training program
I’ve had clients:
  • Read a book of a different genre than they normally read. “The Alchemist” frequently comes up as a good one!
  • Watch several inspiring movies.  I recommend “Salmon Fishing in Yemen“.
  • Try Yoga
  • Sky dive (I’m not endorsing this one but would love to hear about it if you did it)
This applies to you even if you don’t have a major holiday push at your company. Maybe your golden time for professional development shows up between major projects or presentations.
No matter what your personal interests may be, I encourage you to take a minute and consider:
  1. When is that golden time for your own professional development?
  2. What kind of professional development would interest you most?

To Your own Professional Development!

Ben

PS:  If you haven’t heard, I’ve got a book out that you can order now for just the cost of shipping and handling.  This could be an excellent option for your golden week:)  If you’re interested in an inspiring course to get your year started off on the right foot.