Get ready to outgrow your britches, because today we are talking about PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
You’re a busy person. Busy people do not want to feel as if they are wasting their time on things that do not add value. To avoid the merry-go-round of less than helpful classes and virtual trainings, it’s critical to take a strategic look at what you need in this stage of your life and career based on where you want to go. Below are five helpful tips to keep you on the right path.
1. Get very clear about where you want to be one to three years from now.
You’re not going to have a very direct path to your future dream job if you don’t know what that is. To help get clarity on which corner office’s desk you want to prop your well-appointed feet on, evaluate what parts of your current job you enjoy most and at which you excel. Take a task inventory by writing down the main components of your job. Then, decide which of those you would like to do more frequently, but at an advanced level. Doing this helps you develop a clearer picture of how you want your career to evolve.
2. Job shadow.
Chances are someone in your organization has a job close to what you want to do. Get a better feel for that position by spending some time job shadowing. Now, this might sound too easy, but all you really have to do is ask. Ask to spend some time watching what this person does on a typical day or week on the job. At best, they are excited to take you on and offer you priceless advice and possibly even become your mentor, and at worse, say no and think you’re too damn big for your britches. To which I say, OMG yasss, thank you so much for noticing! We are outgrowing all the small britches. We are here for big britches only.
3. Research your current resources.
Do you know what types of development programs your current employer offers? What about scholarship programs? Are external training programs reimbursed? Is there an online resource library your company subscribes to? Most organizations have some sort of internal development program or department available to their employees. You might have to dig, but it’s worth the effort. Doing your homework on this can save you time and quite possibly money; money you could put towards your new wardrobe of bigass britches.
4. Join professional organizations and start networking like it is your job (because it is – professional development is YOUR responsibility).
Real talk; your employer is not responsible for your career development or for providing you with an environment filled to the brim with intriguing people doing interesting things. That stuff is on you. One of the easiest ways to expand your sphere of influence, and therefore, your career potential, is by joining professional organizations. If you are in a career field that requires professional accreditation, start by getting involved there. Sign up for and ACTUALLY ATTEND those monthly meetings or calls.
See what type of industry-specific networking groups exist on LinkedIn and Facebook and join the most interesting and active. Networking has never been easier than it is right now. You are much more likely to have career growth opportunities if you let people know you are interested in career growth opportunities. Get out there and work the hell out of that net. If you are someone who isn’t yet comfortable putting yourself out there, no worries, hit me up and we can work on that. Until then, virtual conferences, social media groups and even Zoom happy hours can be the perfect way to ease into this potentially intimidating space.
5. Work with a professional.
If you want more one on one, individualized guidance on how to make The Big Moves, consider working with a professional coach. Executive coaches have experience helping their clients wade through the noise and bullshit to expose the real heart of the matter, allowing you to clearly establish your goals, then confidently and quickly meet them. If this sounds like something you want to check out, go to my website and sign up for a free, low pressure 30-minute discovery call to learn more.
You better work, britches.