What does Professional Development mean to me…
By Jen Silvetti, JFC Workforce Branch Manager
Honestly- I didn’t know what it was until I started working at JFC. Every other job previously was just that, a job. I showed up on time every day and worked to the best of my ability. Not until I joined the JFC work family did my professional and personal worlds collide so drastically.
I started almost 4 years ago in, what I thought would be, a job. I still was showing up on time and working to the best of my ability. Then only after one year I heard a knock at the door- it was opportunity. (I know it sounds cliché doesn’t it?)
Well, for those who know my personality, I am one to take advantage of opportunity. This meant stepping into the role of Branch Manager in the very branch I was already working in. Wow- can you imagine? There I sat managing those who I called my team just the week prior. What was I getting into? I will admit, it took some time to find my way.
My previous life of corralling preschoolers and probationers did not prepare me for this new world of Staffing and Management- wait yes it did.
I was not managing, I was coaching. Everything I have done up until this point has shaped me in some way. My life has created a virtual tool belt and I get to utilize it every day. One has no idea what tool she will be called to use at a moments notice. Since working with our Chief Enthusiasm Officer (Jimmy) and the JFC work family, I have been provided with a never ending supply of tools.
What I needed most was to be vulnerable; being afraid to make mistakes and fail. Or as someone that I met just recently referred to them, see the opportunities in every failure.
How cool is that?
With this mindset, you have nothing more to do than grow. All these years, I had no idea that being vulnerable was even “a thing” until I heard it and read more about it. I had always thought that this was a sign of weakness and a flaw I had. Since working at JFC, I have grown comfortable embracing vulnerability. I now know that it is merely something to be conscious of and continue to work through.
Vulnerable by many means, “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Susceptible yes- but you must have the courage to face it.
Over the last few years, I have learned how to cope, manage and coach through my vulnerabilities throughout my development. JFC has provided such a variety of ways to do this. I have never in any workplace felt so respected and encouraged. I feel safe enough to make mistakes and question things as long as I still have the openness to keep getting better (and receive feedback).
Also, I am no better or worse than anyone else. These skills that I have learned, and continue to learn, not only help me the 40 hours a week at work but also with my personal life. I am so excited and passionate about my growth, I love sharing it with others anytime I can. As you can imagine, not everyone is open and vulnerable. But I will continue to learn and share as much as I can.
Thank you to JFC for showing me how important Professional Development is!
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.