Advisory Board Company | What Are the Different Types of Professional Development Opportunities?
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What Are the Different Types of Professional Development Opportunities?

19 Oct What Are the Different Types of Professional Development Opportunities?

Whether you are an employee or a business owner, professional development is important. Professional development opportunities increase the staff’s capabilities, allowing them to excel in all aspects of work life. That, of course, helps the company thrive. There are several types of professional development opportunities available, and businesses and employees should take advantage of several options to get the best results.


Mentoring is one of the most powerful professional development opportunities available, and it’s also one of the most ignored. Unlike some of the other types of professional development, mentoring is mutually beneficial. Both the mentor and the mentee enjoy countless benefits. The mentee learns quite a bit during the process, and the mentor gets to share his or her skills in a satisfying way. Everyone should take advantage of a mentoring opportunity if available.

Non-directive and directive mentoring opportunities are available. Non-directive mentoring pairs employees and mentors from different departments, while directive mentoring pairs people who are in the same department or discipline. Utilize both types of mentoring to get the best results. That way, employees can learn as much as possible from their mentors.

Professional Development through EducationContinuing Education

There is always something more to learn, making continuing education an excellent form of professional development. Employees can pursue a formal degree or enroll in courses and workshops. This used to be difficult to take on due to time constraints, but now, online options are available. This makes it easier for employees to fit continuing education into their already busy schedules. They can enroll in a class or degree program online and then log in when they get home from work. They are able to learn quite a bit without having to jet off to a campus.


Publishing is one of the best professional development opportunities available. This is especially attractive for those who are involved in the research field. Employees often partner with others when publishing articles. This looks great on a resume and helps people learn more about their fields of study. It also allows them to collaborate with colleagues, which also helps with professional development.

Shadowing Others

Shadowing others is a quick and easy way to engage in professional development. Employees find someone above them to shadow for the day, week, or month. They can learn more about the person’s job during the process, and they can also ask questions and get immediate feedback. This isn’t as immersive as mentoring, but it is still beneficial when it comes to professional development. Employees can see what life is like for other employees and get a better idea of what is expected out of different positions within the company.


Work presentations are another option for professional development. Have employees collaborate and then come up with a presentation. This benefits them through both the collaboration and the presentation. Employees learn quite a bit and they get experience presenting in front of groups of people.

Conduct Research

Most organizations have some sort of research that can be done, from research on sales trends to the industry’s best practices. Have employees conduct research as a form of professional development. They will learn quite a bit about the industry and have a new appreciation for the company as a whole. They can also become a go-to resource when other employees need information.

Participate in Professional Organizations

Don’t forget about professional organizations when looking for professional development opportunities. There are local, regional, national, and international organizations available. Employees can attend conferences, workshops, and meetings or present papers. They can also serve on the board for these organizations.


Networking doesn’t just help people build their connections. It can also be used as a form of professional development. Members of a person’s network can teach them new things and help them reach new heights professionally. Both online and offline networking methods should be utilized.

Join an Advisory Board

People can develop quite a bit when serving on an advisory board. These boards help people work on their problem-identification and solving skills, and boards give people insights into trends and other information related to the business and industry. Those who are quick studies can learn quite a bit in a short period of time when serving on an advisory board.

Volunteer Work

Volunteer work can also be a form of professional development. You know that volunteering is a great way to give back, but it also helps you develop various skills that you’ll use in the corporate world. These skills include communication and problem solving. In addition, you’ll get to network, which is important in professional development.

These are some excellent options for professional development. Consider which options work best for you and your business, and then get started. Don’t stick with just one. Combine various methods to get the best results.

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