14 June 2023

9 examples of professional development goals.

Happy woman with headphones in an office setting

When we talked about lifelong learning we showed why it’s important to keep working on bettering oneself. Whether the reason is a natural curiosity, personal growth, or professional advancement doesn’t matter, the point is to keep yourself learning and to keep yourself engaged. 

When talking about professional growth you’ll often hear people talking about setting goals for professional development, and that’s also what we’re talking about today.

What are goals for professional development?

Goals can be varied, from personal development via learning new skills, and interpersonal development by building relationships to professional development, it's important to set goals and follow them to completion. In short, they are guides that you set yourself to improve both as a person and as a professional.

It's never too late to start your development. Whether you're just starting out in the workforce, or you're an experienced professional looking for a career change, setting goals for your personal and professional development can help you stay focused, stay engaged, and motivated, and keep progressing

Why are goals for professional development important?

Goals for professional development are important because they help you measure your progress and stay on track with achieving success. Whether it’s climbing the corporate ladder, mastering a new skill, or earning a promotion, setting realistic and achievable goals can give you something to strive for. 

Having clearly defined goals gives you a sense of purpose that can help keep you motivated and inspired. Also, they help you stay organized and focused so that all of your hard work pays off in the end.

On the other hand, if you’re not a person who gets discouraged easily, you might want to try and challenge yourself. Try setting ambitious goals, if you don’t succeed you know you tried your best, and if you do there’s nothing better than pleasantly surprising yourself. 

Professional development goals examples.

Transcom employee having a break

As we said, no matter what stage of your career you’re in, setting professional development goals for yourself can help you continue to grow and progress. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start or you might get the feeling that you’ve already done everything there is to do. In that case here are some professional goal development examples to get you started and help you on your way.

Learn a new skill.

The first of the professional goal development examples is pretty straightforward and might seem either obvious or unnecessary, but it is a crucial goal that everyone should have in their plan. We like to think we’re well-versed in things that are connected to our jobs, especially if we’ve been in the business for a longer amount of time, but, as times change and technology evolves at a blistering pace there’s always something new waiting to be learned. 

Others might see the benefit in relearning an old skill that they had. While you might think you remember everything, it's better to be safe than sorry. You wouldn’t want to find out something’s missing while doing a task where that skill is necessary.

Learning a new skill can unlock your professional potential and open up opportunities to advance in your career. It allows you to stay competitive and marketable in the job market, as well as expand your knowledge base and skill set. Plus, it’s an easy way to show initiative and demonstrate commitment to continuing education and employers love that. 

So, if you’re looking to take your career to the next level, why not brush up on an old skill or learn something new? It could be just the thing you need to stand out from the crowd.

Obtain a new certification.

Continuing in the vein of acquiring new skills, you can also go for obtaining a new certification. The advantages here are many, not only do you gain new knowledge that you can apply, but it also shows initiative and sets a great example for your colleagues to follow. 

As far as specific advantages go, a new certificate might seem like just a piece of paper, but it opens up a new world of possibilities. You might have the applicable skills and knowledge already but a certificate can open doors that pure skill can’t. This makes it invaluable to you, your team, and the company as a whole.

It doesn’t even have to be expensive or time-consuming, so if you’re thinking that you can’t fit courses into your schedule, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The internet is a beautiful thing, and you can find a huge number of courses that you can take at your own pace and leisure. 

If you want to show yourself in a new light, show initiative, and willingness to learn and improve then obtaining a new certification is a certified gold mine of opportunities.

Attend a conference, convention, or seminar.

Woman writing on glass in a class setting

The best ideas are shared. That’s why going to conferences, conventions, or seminars to hear and talk to leading experts in your field is a must-have on your list of goals. It’s an invaluable way to connect with like-minded professionals, seek out new ideas, or get inspired by the latest industry trends. Apart from all of those, they are great places for networking and making general connections either friendly or professional. Those can benefit you and the company greatly in the long run. 

But, if you’re not a fan of traveling, in today's digital world it doesn't take expensive plane tickets or a fancy suit to access professional development resources. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can attend live webinars and take virtual courses that will help you stay ahead of the curve in your field. 

This means that there is no excuse not to take part in events like these. Keep tabs on upcoming events so that you can brush up on relevant topics and build up your skillset with ease – all from the comfort of your own home, in your own chair, with your own cat. 

Make use of company advancement tools and opportunities.

The best place to start your professional development goals may be right at work. A lot of businesses offer their own form of advancement tools and actively create opportunities for their employees to evolve. After all, it’s in everyone’s best interest.  

At Transcom, we care deeply about professional development and professional development goals. One of our values is We’re team players, meaning we care for every member of our team, their well-being, and their career. That’s why we often place emphasis on upskilling and workplace learning in our blogs as crucial aspects of development. But we don’t just talk about it, Transcom offers employees the tools for learning and advancement like Transcom University in which we cover everything from the necessities required for work to advanced courses. We have a huge number of staff that came up from CSRs by showing skills that we needed. 

So why not take a look at what your current employer can offer you? You may be surprised by the range of opportunities available to help you excel as an individual and contribute more to the success of your company. You might even pick up a few skills you never knew you had! 

Try it. With the help of your employer, some solid planning, and dedication to personal development, you’re sure to reach your professional goals.

Get out of your comfort zone.

A common saying is that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. But what does this mean when it comes to professional development? Well, it means expanding the boundaries of your knowledge and expertise in order to advance your career. Especially by doing things you like the least. Don’t think you’re a good writer? Write more. Don’t like responsibility? Take the lead on the next project. Don’t like talking to people? Become the social butterfly you know you are at the next team-building event. As a CSR you can try exploring different approaches in conversations and queries or propose different ideas based on your experiences. 

Think about all the areas you could explore and learn from attending courses, networking with industry leaders, seeking mentorship opportunities, and starting or taking on additional roles in an organization. These ideas shouldn’t end at the workplace, you can improve the rest of your life by stepping out of your comfort zone. Hate a mess? Start miniature painting. Scare easily? Go bungee jumping. 

The possibilities are truly endless and they can only make your life richer. Progress often requires pushing yourself beyond your limits. You may be surprised at how much more you can accomplish when you go out and explore what’s outside of your comfort zone. Embrace new ideas and opportunities - they could pave the way for larger successes in the future.

At the end of the day, you can’t find treasure without first having an adventure. 

Work on your stances and attitudes, and set limits. 

While it is important to work on yourself as an employee and to set strictly professional development goals connected to your skills, it is equally as important to work on yourself and how you approach things. Many of us take parts of our personality for granted and think that it cannot be changed. Letting somebody misuse your time because you’re too polite to argue about it. Being overburdened by work because you’re too shy to say no. 

Setting limits and changing attitudes and stances doesn’t mean being rude or impolite towards your colleagues. It means respecting your and their time and having them do the same. Boundaries and limits to behavior are important not just to make sure no one inadvertently takes advantage of you but that you don’t take advantage of yourself as well. More often than not, we’re our own biggest problem. An inner saboteur. That’s why working on setting limits is important. So that everyone, including yourself, knows what’s acceptable and what’s not. 

When you set professional development goals for yourself, it pays to include items that will help you work on your stances and attitudes. Learning to say no without feeling guilty is a skill that will serve you well in the workplace. Especially if you find yourself in a situation where you’re overloaded with tasks. Saying no doesn’t mean letting the person who’s asking down, it just means letting them know that, at the moment, you’re not the best person to help them

Don’t be a pushover; it won't do anyone any good! 

Open yourself to change.

As they say, the only constant in life is change. If you’re not open to change, it can be the biggest and scariest thing you’ve had to face or it can be that constant small annoyance buzzing around. That’s why everyone should work on being more open to change.

If we’re open and flexible enough that means that we can work with anything thrown our way. We can assess the situation and make adjustments to the plan without skipping a beat. We can also think on our toes and explore new ideas with curiosity and enthusiasm. Whether it be adapting to a new script as a CSR or switching projects, being flexible and ready to change can only bring good things. 

Being open to change is hugely beneficial in the long run because it keeps us agile, flexible, and curious - all qualities that we talked about are beneficial to personal and professional success, and some that are a crucial part of Transcom’s core values. Adapting well to change will allow you to become more resilient and better equipped to handle future changes. It’s an essential part of ensuring that you remain agile in today’s ever-evolving world. 

So don't shy away from change - welcome it with open arms!

Become closer to your colleagues.

Transcom employees having a break together

A professional development goal doesn't have to be something that solely benefits your career. Why not make it a team effort and focus on strengthening your relationships with those at work? It could be as simple as learning the names of colleagues' children, or remembering and celebrating major milestones like birthdays and anniversaries. Having a colleague in the cubicle next to you that is also a friend can make your time at work more enjoyable and help you when you get stuck on something, especially with CSR when you sometimes need to think on your feet.

On the other hand, this process doesn't have to require celebrations, it could just mean grabbing a coffee after work and talking, person to person, about interests, hobbies, favorite bands, and how disappointed you both were at the series finale of Dexter.

Even if you work remotely, there are still ways to connect such as virtual coffee breaks or group video chats. You can also enjoy mini team buildings by playing virtual board games or just hanging out on Friday evenings. Making an effort to build strong connections can create a more enjoyable workplace atmosphere for everyone! 

Build interdepartmental relationships.

At work, it's not just about what you know, but also who you know. Professional development goals should include strengthening relationships across departments and teams. Who knows, making connections with the marketing team could help you land a promotion in HR. CSRs might benefit by having friends in IT that can come to the rescue when needed. With strong interdepartmental relations, potential opportunities are endless. 

You also don’t have to strengthen the relationship just between yourself and others. You are a part of a team so becoming closer with somebody you usually work with outside of your closest colleagues is a great first step. How do you do that exactly? Watching the game with some of your closest colleagues? Invite somebody from marketing, sales, or HR. 

You also may not be the one to initiate an invite but being available and open-minded is key. Going out for lunch with colleagues, asking questions in meetings, and attending team events might just help strengthen your relationships, and it’s always good to be a team player in any shape or form.

Strengthening these relationships is key to effective function between departments, we all know that it’s much easier to do a last-minute task for somebody that we have a close relationship with.


In conclusion.

There is a lot a person can do in their professional development and we’ll be talking about creating a template. Setting professional development goals is the first key step on that journey. From CSR to upper management, we should never stop wanting to evolve and better ourselves. So, be it talking to colleagues, getting yourself in the right headspace, or developing a skill, it’s important to do something, to stay active, and to keep learning. If you find a business that nurtures growth make sure to make use of it, and we at Transcom would be glad to have you and help you in any way we can.