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The Importance of Ongoing Professional Development and Continuing Education

In today’s labor market, there is no space for complacency. Technologies are constantly being created and advanced, leading to new and improved technical skills to develop. Employers aim to find talent who bring the latest and greatest insight. The industry of virtual assistants isn’t any different. You have the advantage of working from home and relying on digital technologies to complete tasks, communicate with clients, maintain productivity, and much more. You may feel like you’re doing the same things over and over, but the world changes faster than you think. This blog post emphasizes the importance of ongoing professional development and continuing education for adapting to constant change. 


Remain Competitive


The most obvious reason for ongoing professional development and continuing education is to remain competitive in the labor market. Think about it. What technical skills did your current job require when you first applied? How relevant are those skills today? Would your employer still require those skills if they began hiring, or are there new software programs that outpace the program with which you’re an expert? Ongoing professional development updates your current skills to match the needs of clients in various ways. For example, certifications introduce new concepts or reintroduce concepts with consideration for trends and changes in policy, software features, algorithms, and much more. Continuing education is another great way to remain competitive. It shows employers and clients that you’re connecting with seasoned professionals in your industry to research and analyze at an in-depth level. Combined, these efforts help fine tune your technical skills and remain ahead of the competition. 


Expand Knowledge Base


Another great aspect of ongoing professional development and continuing education is that it expands your knowledge base. They open doors for you to learn more within your industry or a related industry. It’s the opportune time to hone in your skill set while keeping an open mind to emerging changes. For instance, seminars are a type of ongoing professional development that looks at concepts from a different angle you hadn’t previously considered. Remember, it’s about perspective, improvement, and learning. Continuing your education also opens certain doors for you to grow and learn alongside like-minded professionals in your exact position. Ask questions, connect with your classmates and professor, and dig deep into subject matter. Either path will help you better understand clients, brainstorm innovative ideas, and fine-tune your skill set.


Boost Confidence


On a related note, ongoing professional development and continuing education can boost your confidence in problem-solving, communication, and collaboration. It gives you the chance to learn from people’s experiences while receiving constructive criticism. It also challenges your assumptions, involves collaborative efforts, and presents suggestions. For example, continuing education often consists of discussions that require you to critically think, strategically plan, and defend your rationale. Your efforts in professional development and continuing education pay off when you are able to tackle different types of problems, changes, and uncertainties. 


Today’s technological advancements constantly change our world and shape the labor market at a fast pace. Virtual assistants are no exception to this reality. You have the advantage of utilizing digital technologies to their fullest capacity, so ongoing professional development and continuing education are crucial in remaining competitive, expanding your knowledge base, and boosting your confidence in the job role. They update and fine-tune your skill set to match the needs of clients, reinforce an open mind to different perspectives, and challenge you in numerous ways. How does professional development and continuing education benefit you at your job? Share your insight in the comments below! 

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