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Why Personal and Professional Development Matter

September 27, 2022

An army of children headed back to school earlier this month, with shiny new backpacks and sharpened pencils in tow. While the summer break is a welcome one, especially by the time June comes around, there is something palpable and exciting about a new school year and the learning and growth opportunities that it brings.

There is no reason this learning and growth should be limited to kids though. Albert Einstein said it best: intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.

Why are personal and professional development important?

Professional development refers to training and educational opportunities that are more focused on helping you advance in your career, and typically require an investment in terms of time and money. There are many different types of professional development options, from taking courses to attending conferences to participating in executive coaching programs.

Professional development is incredibly important and in-demand by employees as these statistics demonstrate:

  • 76% of millennials believe that training opportunities are one of the most important components of a corporate culture;
  • 74% of employees feel they aren’t reaching their full potential at work due to a lack of professional development opportunities; and
  • 70% of employees would be somewhat likely to leave their employer to move to an organization that invests more in staff training and development.

Personal development, on the other hand, is often self-directed and is more focused on improving oneself as a person. Personal development might include things like meditation, goalsetting, and acquiring new non-professional skills.

Ultimately, the goal of both professional and personal development is to help people become the best versions of themselves. And while the methods may differ, the underlying objective is the same: to help individuals grow and reach their full potential.

How can a busy professional squeeze it into their already packed schedule?

While professional development doesn’t have to be a major undertaking that requires a huge commitment of time and resources, there are certainly no shortage of post-graduate degrees and certification programs that fall within this category. These options may be less feasible for some, although they can lead to major career growth.

There are a wide range of options for how to go about embarking on your professional and personal development journey in a less time-consuming and cost-prohibitive manner. Thanks, in part, to COVID-19, the online education space has exploded in recent years giving a more on-demand option for those in pursuit of professional development. There are more formal channels such as workshops or seminars, while others prefer more informal methods such as mentorship or networking events, while still others choose to take a more self-directed approach through online learning and consuming industry-related content, like books, podcasts, and articles.

No matter what method you prefer, there are a few key ingredients that all effective development programs share. First and foremost, they must be relevant to your current situation and goals – including that already jam-packed schedule. They should also challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and push you to grow in new ways. Finally, the best development programs provide ongoing support and guidance so that you can continue to build on your skills over time.

For our part at WealthCo, we do walk the walk when it comes to personal and professional development. We are diligent about supporting our team members in any professional development training or designations that will make them better at their jobs. We engage in regular goalsetting with our team members to help support their growth in their specific roles. We produce content on a regular basis, including through our YouTube channel (which currently has more than 140 videos), our monthly podcast The Innovative Accountant, and the Insights page on our website which is chockful of articles on everything ranging from investment planning to business planning to financial planning. And finally, we held our inaugural golf tournament earlier this month and it was a wonderful day of networking and relationship building, one which we plan to grow even more in 2023 (stay tuned for more details).

The Integrated Advisory community consists of a network of progressive CPA firms, along with best-in-class professional advisors, service, and product specialists, who work together to deliver an elevated and holistic client experience. One that optimizes both their personal and professional lives with an integrated financial strategy designed to help clients reach their goals.