Keeping up with your continuing professional development (CPD) can be tricky at the best of times, and chances are that the stresses of lockdown have not made this easier over the past few months. But if you’re feeling up to it, you might find that doing some CPD from home could be beneficial for you and your business.
Of course, you shouldn’t put any pressure on yourself to be productive during this time. Lockdown is hugely stressful for all sorts of reasons, and there’s no need to add to your mental load unnecessarily. It’s essential that you take care of yourself first and give yourself a break if you need it!
However, if you do feel up to the challenge, you may find working on your CPD really valuable. Perhaps you don’t have as much to do right now and you’re in need of a distraction or something to give structure to your days. Or maybe you’re keen to feel that you’re still making progress with your business, even if your normal workload has changed. Whatever inspires you, here is our guide to doing CPD from home.
Make a plan
The most effective way to carry out CPD is first to make a plan – this will keep you on track and ensure you’re focusing on the areas that will make the most difference to you. Here are a few questions to ask when building your plan:
- What do you currently do? List your current jobs and note down what you’re best at and what you’re worst at. Are there any skills you need to improve?
- What are your short-term goals? If there are things you want to achieve in the next year or two, think about what training you can start now to help you get there.
- What are your long-term goals? Consider your biggest dreams for the future of your business, and then break them down into the steps you will need to take to achieve them. If there are lots of steps, don’t be daunted – just focus on what you need to do first; the rest will come later.
Use online training
There are countless online resources you can use for training and CPD. Here are a few good places to start your search:
- OpenLearn: This is a hub for free online training provided by the Open University. It covers a wide range of subjects, but the courses in money and business will probably be most useful for business owners. The website tells you the number of hours and the level of difficulty for each course, so you can easily pick one that fits your needs.
- Skillshare: This is another platform for online courses, but it does require a paid subscription. Again, there are plenty of business and entrepreneurship courses to choose from, and there is also Skillshare for Teams, which will let you build custom training programmes for your employees.
- Subject-specific training: To find subject-specific training for your area of business, start by looking at the official organisations or leading companies in your field – do they offer online courses that will fill a gap in your knowledge? A quick internet search should bring up even more training options, and you can check out the course descriptions and reviews to find the best one for you.
Attend online conferences
Although most professional conferences have been cancelled, a number of ambitious organisers have taken their events online, so if there’s an event you usually attend in person, look it up to see whether it’s holding an online alternative this year. You could also sign up for conferences that you’re never been able to go to before, either because they’re too far away or because they have a limited number of tickets, so take your search global and see which conferences you can attend from the comfort of your own home!
Whatever you decide to do, you should keep a record of it so you will be able to look back and see what you achieved during this time. Not only is this very satisfying, it will also help you to continue to plan your CPD in the future. Make a note of what you did and when, how many hours it took, who the organiser was and the key things you learned.
If you would like someone to help with the day-to-day running of your business while you focus on your CPD, Get Ahead VA can help. We offer services including telephone answering, administration and email management to keep your business running smoothly. To find out how we can help, please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.