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Keep the Spark Alive in Your Talent Development Career


Tue Apr 16 2024

Keep the Spark Alive in Your Talent Development Career

Talent development professionals are passionate about developing others and ourselves. We are committed to never stop learning. Stepping back to refresh our knowledge and understanding about what we do every day can reinvigorate us and provide insight and new perspectives. These insights can spark newfound confidence, help us find more efficient ways to work, and give us a better appreciation of why we should take specific approaches. Sometimes you even find a new aspect of the field, not part of your current role, that leads to growth.

ATD provides several ways for talent development professionals to explore the breadth and depth of the field that can light the L&D fire within and help propel you toward a new role, set of responsibilities, or trajectory in your career.


ATD has developed a roadmap for all TD professionals with the Talent Development Capability Model™. Released in 2020, this framework, backed by global research, details what talent development professionals need to know and do to be successful. The interactive website allows users to explore a wide range of knowledge and skills.

Lifelong learning is one of the 23 capabilities in the model. To help you with your learning journey, use the built-in self-assessment to benchmark where you are and where you need to grow. More than 31,000 professionals have completed the self-assessment, and you can compare your results to your peers’, either globally or by role. Taking it a step further, you can choose a learning path to identify your specific knowledge and skills gaps. Choose a role you don’t have but might like to take on to see where you can develop in areas that will give you a leg up in your job search.

You may find that certain topics are less familiar but intrigue you. Finding out more is easy with the latest release of the TDBoK™ Guide: Talent Development Body of Knowledge, second edition. The TDBoK Guide is designed to bring the topics in the Capability Model alive by providing definitions, methodologies, and examples that lay the foundation and guiding principles for those who develop talent in the workplace. No matter whether you have been in the field for 20 years or two months, the TDBoK Guide can illuminate new areas in the field or help provide you with a solid foundation on which to build.

An online version of the TDBoK Guide is now included as part of ATD membership, allowing you to highlight, underline, and even create flashcards for concepts you wish to return to. It also provides further resources for when you want to dig deeper into specific topics. This definitive, centralized resource becomes the starting place for a journey of rediscovery around talent development.

For those looking for a more structured approach to reinvigorating their passion for the field, you might consider pursuing one of ATD’s industry-leading certifications: the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD®) or the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®). Grounded in concepts from the Capability Model, these practice-based credentials validate that professionals can put knowledge and skills into action in on-the-job scenarios. The TDBoK Guide is often a principal study tool for those preparing for certification.


A recent certificant said, “Becoming ATD certified is a critical means of demonstrating formal competence in a field where people come to this work from many different avenues.” A recent study done in partnership with ROI Institute found that those who have become APTD or CPTD certified gained new insights into talent development that they would not have otherwise uncovered. These new insights increased their confidence, improved their TD program effectiveness, and improved their productivity. David Elser, CPTD, called his pursuit of the CPTD “one of the most rewarding journeys for a learning and development professional.”

Those who pursue certification often do so with the support of ATD chapter-led study groups. These groups not only help candidates review and prepare for the certification exams but also build professional networks and provide a built-in cheerleading section to help you achieve your goal. APTD and CPTD certificants become key resources for their organizations, bringing best practices and grounded approaches to benefit everyone they develop. Taking the time to focus on preparing for certification can help you rekindle excitement about your work, while also giving a tangible boost to your career.

Petra Verheijen, CPTD, perhaps said it best: “Follow your passion. If you like what you do, your work gives you energy and allows you to do more than many can im

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