Wednesday, May 9, 2012

7 Professional Development Tips

Professional development is one of the most important tools for your career advancement. When most people hear that term, they immediately think about graduate or continuing education programs. While these are all good ways to advance your career, there are a lot more ways to develop your career skills.

According to James Weinberg, founder and CEO of Boston, Mass.-based Commongood Careers, heading back to school is only one of the paths you can choose when it comes to professional development. At a recent conference hosted by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), Weinberg listed seven other things you can do to advance your career:

  • Workshops. Some of these guarantee certificates, but check to see if that piece of paper means anything for your professional career.
  • Self-education books. Sometimes the best teacher is yourself. Look for books or online course to expand your knowledge.
  • In-house mentors. Ask a competent colleague or supervisor for help.
  • Outside mentors. Structure a relationship with someone in the field that works outside of your organization.
  • Peer networks. These organize individuals with similar jobs.
  • Consulting. Side projects can help you encounter elements of your position that may not come up at your job.
  • Volunteering. This offers flexibility to your schedule.
As you can see, there are a number of things you can do to make sure you head down the right road in your career. Make sure to use a combination of the above tips to get the most successful results.

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