What is Professional Development?

  • Published
  • By Capt. Susie Wheatley
  • ARPC Promotions Board Secretariat
Professional development refers to your ongoing commitment to ensure that your skills and ability to do your job are always relevant and up to date.

As we kick off the new year with our ARPC Professional Development Achiever Series workshops: "I AM EFFECTIVE," "I FOCUS," "I CHANGE," "I AM INFORMED," "I COMMUNICATE" and "I LEAD," we can look forward to achieving our goals and hopefully some of yours.

These are exciting times for ARPC as we are able to offer outstanding courses for both military and civilians such as the Stephen Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "I Focus, Achieving your Highest Priorities." We also offer myriad other short workshops with a variety of topics. Lt. Col. Allison Lynch, deputy director of DPB says, "If I had been given the opportunity to attend a class like '7 Habits' as a lieutenant, it would have given me tools for success early in my career."

I want to mention other professional development initiatives taking place at ARPC. Dave Aldrich, DPS director, and his team created the DPS Learning Resource Center which offers excellent training opportunities to contact center personnel so they may continue to provide top notch customer service. ARPC has the benefit of a contracted team of professionals, Mission Support Logistics, who not only research and employ local facilitators and courses for our employees but also provide multimedia support. We also partner with local bases for other important classes such as the new Company Grade Officer Enhancement course offered by Team Buckley as well as our civilian personnel office workshop series "Leader's Ship Program." In the next course in the series, supervisors will be learning about in-processing on Jan. 22 in the Webber Auditorium from 1-3 p.m.

It is not just ARPC but Air Force leaders nationwide are exploring and providing ways to improve the work force, both personally and professionally -- the message is out, and it is strong.

The Jan. 9 Airman's Roll Call, "Take control of your career in the new year" provides info about using MyEDP (My Enlisted Development Plan). MyEDP provides links for enlisted Airmen to review their goals and consider what they're doing or must do to achieve them. The site also allows educational goals to be outlined via the virtual mentoring link, and accomplishments can be updated in a journal -- all are great professional development tools and resources. 

Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne writes a monthly Letter to Airmen addressing all Guard, Reserve, active duty and civilian Airmen. His Nov. 7 letter, "Creating Accountable Airmen through Leadership," says all leaders must set measurable objectives that focus efforts to achieve their goals. When leaders communicate the Air Force goals to their people, our Airmen are enabled with the knowledge to perform their tasks and better support the Air Force mission. What other way to be enabled than through professional and personal development?

Secretary Wynne's Jan. 7 letter, "Make 2008 the Year of Achievement" brings it all together. Point 1: Set your goals for the year. He charges you to set personal goals that will take care of your mind, body and family so you are ready to defend our great nation ... do this by accomplishing missions with excellence and taking care of "your" people. Point 2: Achieving our Air Force goals - breaking new ground by applying innovative technologies ... DIMHRs is a great example forthcoming as well as our vPC-GR actions and ARPC's goal to continuously improve processes.

So bottom line, professional development is in front of you and is ongoing. You can't ignore it. Take advantage of the workshops provided for you. Don't hesitate to volunteer ideas for future programs, topics and courses you may be interested in. Maximize the resources available to you. Set some new personal and professional goals this year, and you will see the result of your effort! Good luck.