digitalist.global // November 15 2017
What to Do in Order to Stay up-to-date as a Professional?
Almost everyone is familiar with planning business targets for the coming year, but an equally important aspect is planning the personal skills development on a yearly basis. It’s important that we ask from ourselves: “How can I be sure that my competences are still valuable at the end of the year and further on?” Competence development has many aspects but the most important ones are learning, connecting and sharing.
When identifying learning goals with our own supervisor we start with gaps analysis to check if the current knowledge is matching with the current position and job requirements. There are many ways to improve your own skills and knowledge, organized trainings are not the only way to learn something new. It has been said that 70 % of learning happens when working, 20 % of learning is based on experience and only 10 % of learning happens at training courses. In Finland we, among others, use the 24 hours from the competitiveness pact for self-development. The time can be used to participate in trainings or studying individually.
A great way to keep up your own competence is to take on personal projects like developing a home automation system or your own weather service. There are also many analytical tools that can be used in your hobbies. I am for example keeping track of my golf rounds with shot analyses, collecting data like how many putts I have used, the length of my shots etc. One good way to increase your own knowledge is also to read books and magazines, covering your own interests and professional field. At Digitalist we have had our own book club where each member has read the same book and then we have shared learnings between team members.
With connecting I mean networking, where you learn to know other people within your organization, within the same technology or other professional area and people working in different organizations. One good way to boost networking is to never eat lunch alone. The lunch breaks are a great opportunity to get to know new people and learn from them while at the same time increasing your own value. The Digitalist movement encourages everyone to become an influencer and offers an opportunity for networking with professionals globally. Other way to networking is to join different events like Digitalist network events, where you can hear about interesting projects and meet people from the same area.
The sharing aspect is important in order to help others. When openly sharing information you can transfer valuable knowledge and good practices. At Digitalist we have regular knowledge sharing sessions where we share best practices and learnings from projects with each other all over the world in online sessions. These sessions are also recorded so you can get the information even if you can’t participate in the live presentation. You can also always go back to the recordings to find some information you might need in your work. We also do so called lessons learned sessions at the end of projects. These sessions aim at sharing successes and lessons, what we did well but also what we could do better in the future.
In today’s work-life you need to study all the time and learn new tools and skills. The technology development is so fast that the things we are using today will be out of date after a couple of years. Thus, it’s important that we all are given the opportunity to keep us up-to-date and develop our careers.
Blog by Kimmo Syväjärvi
Photo by Aaron Burden