In our monthly podcast, “Delivering Development! (see here for more information), we discuss various aspects of professional development. One of the themes is that it should be planned and the result of some kind of needs analysis. Most professionals in our field are not rich in terms of money or time, so it makes sense to do professional development that meets a perceived need.
My CV does not scream “young learners” to the reader, but in recent months a few jobs have come my way that are related to young learners, but don’t involve teaching them. So, when my wife sent me a message about a conference relating to learning languages in a primary school setting, I had a look, something I probably wouldn’t have done six months previously. My interest was increased when I found it was free! The final motivation was that it is taking place in a location near to where my best friend lives. Now, I have no idea where this will take me, if anywhere, but sometimes it is worth a speculative bit of CPD, as you never know where some prior experience or some acquired knowledge might take you. If you are interested, he conference is in the UK and you can find details here.
This reminds me of a message that a colleague of mine, Tim Thompson, writes about. He deals with the situation of the freelancer and with the benefits of networking. In one of his posts (here), he writes that when business is slow, you might need to take on some unappealing work. If you do, try to use it to fill gaps in your CV by giving some experience that you might be lacking.
So, plan your CPD, but be open to opportunities that might arise, even if they are a bit outside of your current direction of travel.