BLOG IMAGE Your Brilliant Career

Your Brilliant Career

This article was originally published by Advancing Women, and authored by Michelle Redfern.

Your brilliant career is dependent on you starting, and continuing professional skills development activity. CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is the ongoing process of developing professional skills and knowledge through interactive, participation-based or independent learning.

I like to describe my brilliant career as “a journey to mastery that is never complete.”  I read this saying in a management journal when I was completing my MBA. What a great way to describe both my love of learning and how I have created a soaring career for myself.  Now, I am helping loads of other women to create their own brilliant career!


CPD is important because as we say in A Career that Soars! One and done doesn’t cut it. One course. One conference. One book. One article is never going to enable a woman to develop their professional capabilities to their fullest potential. Proactively and continually investing time and effort in formal, informal and self-guided learning is essential for career success.

For those of you who are in the medical, legal, finance et al professions, and/or who is a member of a professional body, you will be aware that CPD requirements will be laid out for you by the body. In my own case as a professional Non-Executive Director, I am required to evidence my CPD hours and activity to maintain membership and accreditation to my industry association, and I am sometimes required to do so for any new boards that I am invited to join.


Leadership is a profession. In fact, leadership is my vocation. Therefore, I invest in the continuing professional development of my leadership skills and knowledge so the I can fulfil not only the duties of a leader but to also enjoy my role as a leader, mentor, guide and facilitator of developing more leaders.

Employers also increasingly expect their staff to undertake CPD, and may even measure them on it. What a terrific way to demonstrate that you are “for the business” (No Ceiling, No Walls Chapter 1) to your boss than evidencing the time, effort and commitment you are making to hone your leadership skills.


Regardless of whether there is a mandatory CPD requirement or if CPD is purely discretionary, the most satisfying results are achieved by professionals who drive their own CPD. Women with careers that are soaring do not wait until there is an urgent need to satisfy professional registration requirements or until their manager points out areas for improvement.

Women who are having a career that soars do these things:

  1. They reflect on their strengths and use them proportionately
  2. The identify their skills and knowledge gaps then develop strategies about how to mitigate and manage those gaps
  3. They listen to and act on career advice or feedback from their manager and from colleagues
  4. They are alert for CPD opportunities and assess their relevance to their career plan or leadership development needs
  5. They devote time (and effort) to career planning and CPD planning
  6. They have regular discussions with their manager about aligning their CPD interests and the organisation’s needs. (Very helpful if you want your organisation to invest in your CPD!)


  • How many hours of CPD have you invested so far this year to develop your leadership skills and knowledge?
  • What has your CPD consisted of? (Courses? Reading? Conferences? Coaching? Mentoring? Online learning? Networking?)
  • How many hours of CPD will you invest from now on to develop your leadership skills and knowledge?
  • What activities will your CPD plan include?


You can invest time, effort and money in your CPD here in A Career that Soars! Here is how:

  • Read the articles posted, reflect on them and add comments or questions. Keep a record.
  • Answer the questions and challenges posed by other members. Act as a peer mentor.
  • Attend our Events, Live Meetups and Workshops to build your strategic network and knowledge. Keep a record of attendance.
  • Level Up to a premium membership Circle: there is additional premium content such as articles with actionable insights, downloadable self-paced leadership development activities, workshops which are live and recorded, networking opportunities and our very own podcast!
  • Participate in one of our short courses or group mentoring programs. Keep a record.

Yes, the journey to leadership mastery is never completed, but hey, isn’t A Career that Soars an ideal travelling companion for your brilliant career?


A Career that Soars! Is a global network of career-oriented women, hosted by Susan Colantuono, Mel Butcher and Michelle Redfern. It is laser-focused on helping women enhance their leadership skills and build successful careers. There is much to learn from each other and many opportunities to contribute your knowledge and experience. Join Us.

About Michelle Redfern

BLOG IMAGE Michelle RedfernMichelle is the founder of Advancing Women, an enterprise providing research and advisory services on equality, inclusion and gender diversity. She is also the founder professional women’s network Women Who Get It, co-founder of social enterprise CDW (Culturally Diverse Women and Workforces) and co-founder and co-host of A Career that Soars! Michelle is determined to contribute to achieving global gender equality in her life time, especially through her research and advocacy in the sporting industry.

Michelle is a Non-executive director for Williamstown Football Club, an Ambassador for Honour a Woman, Respect Victoria and Flexible Working Day. She has held executive leadership roles ASX & FTSE listed companies NAB, Telstra and Serco during her 30-year career.

Michelle was named City of Melbourne B3000 Female Entrepreneur of the Year (2019), is a proud recipient of the AFR 100 Women of Influence Award (2018).


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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.