I recently did a talk for some HR Professionals on the importance of continuous professional development.
I used to be quite slack at this. CPD for me was the occasional flick through of people management magazine or personnel today, and maybe even jumping on a training course if there was a spare space going begging. Now, however, I love CPD. The last few years has been a great journey of personal development and now I’m a serious advocate. I’m not sure if thats because I realised that the more I took my development seriously, the better my career was turning out or simply because I was maturing and simply learned to love new things. Either way, I realised and still firmly believe that CPD and lifelong learning is essential.
At the moment, my CPD is a combination of structured development (exactly what it says on the tin), immersion in sources of constant information (such as Twitter and WordPress), and serendipitous opportunity-taking (tagging along to events, webinars, podcasts that might not be directly relevant to me or even the HR profession but also might turn out to be incredibly useful).
During that talk I said I’d follow up with some of my suggested resources and so here they are;-
Obvs. Twitter has dramatically changed the way I develop because of the way in which I become exposed to information, viewpoints and opportunities. Huge caviat here though – it’s very easy to create an echo chamber and so it’s important to allow some ‘maintenance’ over the accounts and people that you follow. I actively seek out people who might not have the same view as me, who work outside of HR and in other parts of business, in other countries as well as my own, as well as politicians whom I admire or have a portfolio that would be interesting to me.
Also, with Twitter comes tweetchats like #HRHour and #LDInsight. These are great places where HR content is discussed and debated at length and I’ve learned so much from them.
LDInsight / LDNights (@LnDConnect)
SHRM Next Chat (@SHRMNextChat)
Podcasts are really convenient to listen to, and its a very popular market at the moment so there’s loads of really great ones available. Because of this, I subscribe to a few different ones and I allow for some variety.
You can listen to podcasts in the car, at the gym, on the train, or even at your desk as they’re really convenient and all sorts of topics are discussed. To make the most out of this though, I make a conscious effort and target how many I want to listen to per week, because at the start of my podcast-listening journey I wanted to form a habit. That habit has formed now and so I don’t have that target anymore.
As with Twitter, I make sure that my listening habits are not solely focused on HR and I’d encourage you to do the same.
Good Practice Podcast (@GoodPractice)
Evidence Talks Podcast (@FW_Centre)
Emotion At Work Podcast (@emotionat_work)
Who doesn’t love a magazine? You can throw them in your bag and read them at your leisure. I’ve discovered that People Management magazine is the perfect size to cover the whole display on the exercise bike at the gym so I get to read the content while not being distracted by the flashing numbers on the screen. Ideal!
Seriously though, they’re convenient and great to keep hold of for cross-referencing and referring back to.
People Management (@PeopleMgt)
HR Magazine (@HRMagazine)
Some great websites exist with really awesome content and I usually take a look once a week. Most websites have social media accounts that I also follow on Twitter, and so i’m often directed to the websites from clicking the links on my social media feed.
It feels really weird to say ‘some great websites exist’ because, duh its 2018 but I don’t generally ‘surf’ the web anymore. I tend to google and use twitter which directs me to certain places, but I make the exception, other than when I’m purposefully researching something, to check out the following websites.
HR Zone (@HRZone)
Science For work (@ScienceForWork)
Emotion At Work (@Emotionat_Work)
Unfortunately mailing lists have become less popular in recent years probably due to the fact that they have been popular with spammers, however the GDPR changes may change attitudes towards that somewhat.
There are only 3 mailing lists that I look out for and read, mainly because they are so well constructed and informative. Check them out below.
Steve Browne – The HR Net (@sbrownhr)
HR News (@HRNewsdesk)
Daniel Barnett (@daniel_barnett)
I’m a big fan of blogs, and I read many. As opposed to articles and tweets, the blogs I enjoy are usually detailed enough for me to learn from and be interested in but concise enough not to take too much time to read.
I read blogs usually in between tasks when I want some brain space from whatever I’m working on, or when I’m killing time, or sometimes just when I’m in the mood. Although there are also some blogs I read that I devour as soon as they are published because the content never fails to make me think.
I read too many to mention all of them, but the below are the ones I either go back to time and time again, or I’m particularly enjoying at this point in time.
Ted Talks are great, free places to learn from and the videos are usually under 18 minutes long. Below are a few of my favourites that are great for HR professionals.
OK, I think thats about enough to get you started. Embracing CPD is a wonderful thing. Lifelong learning is powerful and valuable. Make the most, and make the practice of developing yourself second nature, and you will undoubtedly see and experience the benefits.