Nick Ringrow – Account Manager at Spreckley
Like the many fresh faced graduates leaving university, I thought the idea of exams and studying were long gone with the throw of my mortarboard. Having been working for more than a couple of years I sadly realise how wrong I was.
After surmounting the hurdle of getting into your first job, how do you make the next step and distinguish yourself from everybody else? What can you do to make yourself stand out? The topic of professional qualifications is broached and you shy away from the thought of having to go back to poring over text books by a desk lamp or making copious notes in a training centre lit by fluorescent strip bulbs. Some individuals, like medical and legal professionals, have to maintain a certain number of continual professional development (CPD) points a year to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest practices. But for the average Joe, CPD is an active choice to help them develop their professional understanding and give them a boost, both in their current role and any future ones.
In a world that is changing as rapidly as ours, the idea of continually updating your skills, not just ‘on the job’ but also through recognised qualifications doesn’t seem so mad. Some skills are learnt and developed through osmosis of the working environment, but some skills have to be actively taught by those at the forefront of this development. From a pure business perspective, having one or two ambitious individuals willing to go out and learn new skills allows you to bring these home and develop them into a new business offering. From a professional perspective, having an industry-recognised qualification to your name highlights your credibility to employers and your desire to learn, develop and enhance your skills. It also provides you with the opportunity to discover and enjoy a brand new area of your chosen career that you didn’t know was available to you before. And who knows where that might lead?