What Does Professional Development Look Like?

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 I have had in my career, was just that – a job.

I showed up on time every day and worked to the best of my ability. I had no idea when coming to JFC that my professional and personal world would have been changed so drastically.

I started almost 4 years ago…I still was showing up on time and working to the best of my ability.  Then, after a year, I heard a knock at the door- it was opportunity. (I know it sounds cliché doesn’t it.)

If you know my personality I am one to take advantage of any opportunity and will not shy away from the inherent challenges – no regrets!  This meant stepping into the role of Branch Manager and in the very branch I was working in.

Wow- can you imagine?  …Managing those that I called my team just the week before. What was I getting into?  I will admit, it took some time to find my way.  Just trying to understand more of the staffing industry, since I was new to this work just the year prior.

My previous life of corralling preschoolers and probationers,.  Neither prepared 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. I wear this tool belt every day and you have no idea what tool you will be called to use.

Since working with Jimmy, our Chief Enthusiasm Officer and the JFC work family, I have been provided with a never ending supply of tools.  What I needed to bring to this new role was a desire to learn and grow, not to mention being vulnerable.  That is the running joke in many meetings but it is so true of me. Being afraid to make mistakes and fail…or as someone that I met just recently referred to them…as opportunities, not failures.

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 been deemed a “weak link” years ago at a previous employer- I admit I was young and inexperienced when having to deal with at-risk youth right out of college. Since working at JFC, I am able to embrace it and 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 in 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 with everyone that I come in contact with. 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 and thank you to JFC for showing me how important Professional Development is and should be in any environment.

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