The Importance of Professional Development
Every student has had that exasperated moment in class when you want to demand, “Are we ever going to actually use this?” If you’ve ever stumped your parents or other adults when you’ve asked for homework help, you’ve gotten your answer. Memorizing mathematical theorems and the dates of historical battles are a necessary evil of receiving an education, but they likely won’t be crucial in your future career. A good professional development opportunity, on the other hand, is something that can benefit every single student.
What is professional development?
Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like. “Professional development” is the process of cultivating the skills that will make you an asset in the workplace. It means pinpointing which type of workplace you’re best suited for by discovering your strengths, and then helping you land a job and excel. Many high school and college students have no idea what to expect when they enter the “corporate world,” and a professional development opportunity can better prepare them.
How can a professional development opportunity benefit you?
It would be fantastic if the academic chapter of your life could seamlessly transition to the professional chapter, but that’s not always going to happen. When you’ve never experienced anything other than being a full-time student, how can you be expected to figure out which full-time, real world job is right for you? How can you take your academic strengths and turn them into applicable job skills? These are big questions that professional development can help you answer.
Once you figure out which career you want to pursue, how do you get there? Your literature class probably won’t teach you how to write a cover letter that will get you noticed in your dream industry, and there isn’t a class for nailing a job interview. By seeking out opportunities for professional development, you’ll get insight into the job-hunting process and learn how to impress the right people.
For the majority of the year, your focus is purely academic: homework, studying, and exams. Why not devote your summer to strengthening yourself professionally?