Developing professionally is not something that occurs overnight. It is a process. What does it mean to develop professionally, anyway? Professional development is a mindset to becoming career ready, which is the ability to enter a career with a clear understanding of yourself and what skills employers value. Below are three proven ways to keep in mind as you start the process of professional development as a UF student.

1. Remember, Professional Development is a Continuous Process

Professional development is a lifelong process of acquiring new knowledge and skills relevant to your professional goals, job responsibilities, and work environment. It all starts the moment you begin your college career. The benefit of professional development is that it gives you the room to grow through a variety of learning opportunities that can occur both in and out of the classroom.

2. Explore the Gator Professional Series (GPS)

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Gator Professional Series is a series of workshops offered both in-person and online to help you with your personal and professional development. You have a choice to select between two educational tracks that are offered: Discovering Professional You and Navigating Your Search. In these workshops, you will learn how to network, craft your professional brand, how to start your job/internship search, and more!

The great part is, is that you can explore GPS from the comforts of your own home, GPS online is a way you can start becoming career ready.
The Career Connections Center will start hosting the Gator Professional Series (GPS) on February 7th from 12:50 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. in Room G325. You may also access GPS online at crc.ufl.edu/gps.

3. Discover What Employers Are Looking For through Competency Labs

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Competencies are knowledge, skills, and personal attributes that are relevant to work and life. Employers seek certain competencies in their employees to be able to perform their job functions. We focus on four competencies for our competency labs: critical thinking, communication, sense of self, and teamwork. These competencies are encouraged for you to start developing to help you become career ready.

You may ask, “How do I start developing these competencies?” You can get started by attending our competency labs, which are workshops that allow you to explain and apply domains of each competency in a group setting. In each lab, you will learn why a specific competency is important to employers, participate in an engaging interactive activity, and reflect on your professional growth to prepare you for post-graduation career goals.
Competency Labs will start on February 16th from 12:50 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.

What are some tools you use for professional development? Let us know in the comments below!