Seeking professional development opportunities on an annual basis to support goals and accountability requirements can be frustrating. When searching for these opportunities, it’s important to choose activities that will enhance your performance, increase your knowledge, and meet your end objective, which is to increase student performance. Professional development activities should increase your subject matter knowledge, sharpen your skills, and help you apply concepts to real world situations. The processes you choose should be grounded in research and based on the types of practices in your field as well as allow for collaboration with other professionals.

As a career advisor, I’m constantly searching for opportunities to improve my skills, but it can be difficult to find sometimes. Because of this, I use a mental step-by-step thought process to help me find activities that meet the criteria in my professional development plan.

Finding professional development can be an easy process if you prepare ahead of time and select the appropriate resources. In the end, professional development is all about supporting those you serve as well as your personal, and organizational goals. Remember that it’s important to find activities that align with your plan because that’s what makes the entire process satisfying.

The most successful teachers, administrators, counselors, career coaches, and workforce development advisors never stop learning.

When it’s your business to help others move ahead, there’s always something new to learn. Learn about Kuder’s professional development courses.

This article first appeared in the Kuder Blog July 31, 2014