Dear Aunty B,
I manage a HR team of around eight people. My boss went to a professional development seminar 12 months ago and has been raving about it ever since. So she decided all the unit managers (i.e. me) should go to a seminar of some sort every six weeks.
I went to the first one with an open mind but now I am bored senseless. There are only so many times I can participate in team-building exercises and listen to business coaches espousing the value of asking questions and being mindful in the workplace. Especially when I have to continually answer phone calls and emails from my team who can’t seem to manage whenever I leave the office.
I appreciate my boss is trying to help my career, but can I tell her I would be less stressed and happier if I could just get on with my job?
We’ve all been there: those “trust” exercises where you have to catch someone from falling or going around a room of strangers sharing our goals. And all the while thinking about that growing pile of work in the office.
Professional development days can feel like a waste of time but it’s important to remember not all professional development days are created equal. And remember, this is an opportunity to actually spend time on your own career for once.
Rather than throwing in the towel, why don’t you work with your boss to find seminars or a conference that you are actually interested in and spend the money allocated to PD to go to that instead? Or maybe there are some online resources that the company could purchase for you to access instead of full-day seminars. The other option is to find a company that can come to you and your team and customise a development program for your interests.
Keep your mind open and you’ll be surprised what you might learn.