If you Google cpd, or continuous professional development, you'll be inundated with advice. There's pages and pages of advice, hacks, tips and of course, a whole lot of stuff telling you why not to bother. The majority of this content however foucsses on the corporate world and the more ambitious the company culture, the more frewquenlty cpd is likely to be discussed and analysed. Although many people still treat CPD as a tick-box task, an in depth look at an individual's progress alongisde goals and milestones is generally viewed a useful exercise. It can help people strive for better results, more responsibility, more money, a promotion.......
One of the challenges a freelancer faces is that there is nobody overseeing their development. In many cases they are already wearing a number of hats, are perhaps pushed for time, are focussed almost exclsuively on making sure the client is happy and getting paid. Finding the time to develop or evolve skills can be difficult. So how can freelancers benefit from the same approach to career progression?
At the why studio we advocate finding one hour a month to articulate progress and set cpd specific goals. Once we've set out our one year vision, we like to cover the following. It's important to do this every month and maintain a record of your answers.
- Your accomplishments
- Your day-to-day responsibilities
- Areas to develop, ie. skills and qualities
- Strengths, ie. skills and qualities
- Priorities for the company, or in this case the freelance brand
- Career next steps
- Immediate next steps
- How your mentor can help
- People you should know