An Ecosystem for Professional Development

“Professional development is a communal agenda aligned to the ultimate returns expected of such an investment. That’s why employers need to be involved in this journey.”

Early this year I wrote about employers’ role in professional development plus the measures that would make it possible to foster a culture of continuous learning. This is based on my predisposition and belief that through continuous learning we are bound to sharpen our skills, improve our productivity and serve as drivers of economic development. What other incentive would one need to commit to professional development? During this period I was interviewing for a job and transitioned into in the last month. From my early days and limited experience I have been drawn to the values of the organization and the culture of curiosity, continuous learning which makes it even exciting to work for them. In professional development just like early childhood development (ECD) there’s the need for a conducive environment with the appropriate enablers that make it convenient for a child to develop into a well functioning human. In education there’s need to incentivize and build an ecosystem around the learner that enables them to enjoy and thrive in learning just like I wrote about here. The same applies to innovations and business prowess as I wrote about in relation to Stanford University and tech giants Google and Netflix.

As a young professional venturing into real world practice following series of internships and contractual engagements it counts to find your footing in an organization that serves as your pedestal to self discovery, development and growth in your professional journey. Cognizant of the fact that with our degrees there are varied fields and sub-specialties that we can venture into, there’s that option of majoring in a particular field which may not be as outright upon graduation. This means that once you land a job you should be able to perform at it while also have the option to explore your options not to be at a point in your sunset years regretting not having followed a different path. Learning is the most certain way to explore and develop skills in various fields of practice. On this account, having access to learning resources and opportunities to explore ones interest is a clear way to foster an individuals professional development. In my current job this happens to be a critical piece that is fostered by the People and Organization (P&O) Department keen on ensuring associates are at their best. On concerns that individuals may use company resources for personal development and transition to competitors, it’s the least of their concerns. The focus is to ensure that in case of any needs within the company, the most suited one will be within reach. In case one transitions to another company, it’s for the betterment of the industry considering the associate will be equipped to serve in his next role with competency and advance overall industry growth having the right skills.

Additionally, the company has structured engagements for associates designed to offer insight on the overall company operations while also establishing platforms for internal mentorship arrangements for associates to develop as individuals and experts in their fields of practice. This is a critical ecosystem for individual development and growth and I’m proud to be an associate in such a company. My only ask would be for other employers to adopt such and foster professional excellence among their associates.

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