Professional engagement is an important but often under-appreciated part of your continuing professional development (CPD).
Professional engagement allows your career to grow, by applying your expertise and learning through interaction with other professionals, in both formal and informal ways. It is less about mastery of specific skills or knowledge (which is another important aspect of CPD), and more about sharing those skills and knowledge for mutual benefit and impact.
Professional engagement does not need to go ‘above and beyond’ your day job to be effective, but many people find it beneficial to engage in networks and activities that stretch their interests and allow them to learn from other disciplines or approaches. Engaging widely and consistently will help you to have a professional impact.
Demonstrating professional engagement is an essential part of an application for Chartered Geographer, but anyone seeking to advance their career could benefit from thinking through the self-assessment questions below:
In what ways have you presented or shared your work to internal or external audiences, and how was it received?
How has your work (or presentations about it) had an impact in your organisation or wider networks (clients, students, project partners, professional networks) and/or what did your sharing enable others to do?
How have you contributed to the work of professional bodies or other organisations, or sector-based working groups? (including but not limited to the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)).
How has your work influenced or enhanced the work of others (may be geographers or non-geographers), e.g. in thought leadership, by establishing or contributing to standards or working practices that have been adopted by others, through new methods, techniques or engagement with wider networks.
How have you encouraged, supported and inspired (geographical) careers in others? e.g. student ambassador engagement, training, mentoring or coaching colleagues, specific contributions to geographical career development resources or activities.
How do you actively and visibly promote the benefits of a geographical approach in your wider organisation and externally, especially to non-geographers?
Have you received any external recognition or special commendation for your geographical contribution, expertise or insight? e.g. awards, publications, invited speaker roles.
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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (date) Using professional engagement to have an impact in your career. Available at www.rgs.org/careersresources/professionalengagement. Last accessed on: <date>
Featured image: Mikael Blomkvist/Pexels
CPD is not just about attending conferences or completing training courses. There is a wealth of opportunities to draw upon – and offer to others - across your professional life.
The CPD cycle can help you to identify, plan complete and reflect upon the right types of CPD
Reflect upon your career goals and start or continue your career planning
The Chartered Geographer Framework of Competencies can provide structure to your career development
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