Knowledge is power when it comes to safety education.
Occupational safety and health professionals benefit from professional development in many ways that stretch far beyond the need to maintain certification requirements. Their workplaces benefit as well when employees are better protected from injury and illness. Here are five reasons why professional development is a worthwhile choice for any safety professional.
1. Keep up to date
The safety profession changes quickly. So, it is imperative to stay on top of the latest trends, best practices, rules and laws. Staying current should be an ongoing process that continues throughout your career. Many of your peers are continuing their professional development, so don’t be left behind. Get ahead and ensure that your knowledge and skills stay relevant.
2. Advance your career
Professional development enables you to focus on different aspects or areas in which you don’t get experience in your current role, and that helps propel you to the next level. It can also help you set and achieve career-oriented goals in an effective manner. Think of it as a smart investment in your future.
3. Build confidence
Knowledge is power. The more you know – especially when it comes to the latest trends and regulations – the more confident you will be in your day-to-day role. Confidence can also boost your performance at work and your boss’s perception of your value to the company.
4. Network and learn from like-minded professionals
Taking courses with other safety and health professionals allows you to interact and network with others in the safety profession. You may be exposed to alternative perspectives and new ideas that you never considered. Connecting with like-minded peers at conferences and seminars expands your ability to enhance your personal skills and job performance.
5. Gain a competitive edge
Continuing education makes you more competent and gives you an advantage over those who have not invested in their careers. It enables you to sharpen your skills and better showcase why you are a true safety professional who has much to offer. It also demonstrates a strong work ethic and shows your passion and commitment to your personal growth as well as to the profession as a whole.
Chris Ballman is the director of professional development for the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).