"Take a day out of the office? Me? You've got to be kidding - I'm so flat out that I don't have time to focus on my own development. In fact the last three things my HR manager has booked me on, I've ended up cancelling."
If this is you - or even sounds a bit like you - and be honest - you need help!
Turning your back on your own professional development restricts your ability to plan and think - and importantly, to keep up to date with new approaches or ideas.
People who are too focused on the tasks at hand can be a bit like this:
So how can you keep up to date with the latest trends and innovations - and work on your own development?
6 tips for taking time to focus on your own development in local government
1. Recognise that your own development is important. Like going to the gym, you’ll always put it off if you don’t see the big picture – in this case, recognise the importance and potential benefits to your career of ongoing development.
2. Make a set time each week (or day) to focus on it. Set aside time and mark this time out in your diary. Make it a habit to spend time on this activity.
3. Read voraciously. Read articles and books about innovation in your own industry but also other industries too. Consider how lessons learned elsewhere can apply to your role in local government. Many successful CEO’s have a target of reading at least one book each week.
4. Take advantage of technology – join relevant groups on LinkedIn, watch educational videos on YouTube and attend relevant webinars. Information has been made very ‘bite sized’ so many of these activities will take very little time - but will deliver huge rewards in terms of information and learning.
5. Attend relevant courses and programs to build your skills. Ongoing learning is vital to ensure your skills stay current and that you continue to grow and add value to your organisation (or, the next organisation you work for!)
6. Always take opportunities to network with your peers to gain new ideas and strengthen personal and professional associations. Where possible, join an existing network that meet regularly to share ideas and information.
Read more about LG Professionals, SA’s programs and networks