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1 Way to Maximize Your Own Professional Development

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Every spring I get a jolt of energy, a feeling of anticipation as ATD’s International Conference & Exposition’s preconference education programs arrive. It could be the sunshine or the final melt of the winter’s snow, or it could be the intangible energy that our preconference programs bring, kicking off a global gathering of talent development professionals eager to hear from one another. It’s infectious. There’s something about learners investing in their own professional development before venturing off to invest in the benefit of their organization by attending the conference. It’s quite literally a win-win.

As I travel throughout the year facilitating ATD’s education programs, the one question I hear most is: How do I convince my supervisor to invest in my professional development? Read: More training please! It’s a hard sell sometimes to prioritize our own learning because we have to allocate for time away from the day-to-day, travel costs, meal reimbursements, and so on. It can be quite tasking to get the approvals needed to invest in our own professional development.

One suggestion I always have is to maximize your investment of time and budget by finding opportunities that offer a variety of learning and networking options with one trip. ATD’s International Conference & Exposition energizes the learning and development landscape by bringing together thought leaders and practitioners of our industry to discuss best practices, latest trends, new solutions, and knowledge on how to attract, retain, and develop top talent. Bringing together more than 10,000 professionals, 400 speakers, 300 sessions, and 400 exhibitors on our EXPO floor allows you to become exposed to a plethora of information to take back to your organization.


If you’re already traveling to the conference, why not show up a few days early and complete a certificate program while you’re there, essentially maximizing your return on the investment? It’s a great way to advance your professional development and gather information that benefits your organization.

ATD has done some of the work for you. Build your business case to attend using our manager letter, session and exhibitor worksheet, and our investment worksheet located here to convince your boss of the benefits.

About the Author

Carrie Addington is an internal ATD facilitator. She is a down-to-earth educator and people development coach with a passion for delivering effective communication solutions with a spirited energy. As a business consultant and educator for the past 10 years, Carrie has worked with a wide variety of business segments, including retail, beauty, education, and nonprofits, and has worked with C-level executives, directors, managers, and high potentials.

She has experience designing and delivering customized management and self-development programs, including personal coaching on strategy and communication. She has delivered training on key business management principles for small business owners through Bumble and Bumble University in New York, deemed the “Harvard of Hair” by the Harvard Business Review, to classrooms ranging from 20 to 150 attendees.

Carrie has delivered on topics ranging from energetic accountability, leadership, and great feedback to cross-generational communication, resolving conflict, and presentation skills. She is a part of the coaching network with the prominent, global executive leadership and management company, The Mind Gym; and is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. As a certified ATD Master Trainer, Carrie is knowledgeable about both the development and delivery of outcome-based learning programs.

She has a master's degree in poetry from George Mason University and serves on the board of the American Poetry Museum in Washington, D.C. Carrie is passionate about using her love of language and the arts to work with individuals on establishing deeper connections with their daily work.

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