Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9 Professional Development Ideas

Professional development is one of the best ways to get your to your ultimate career destination. While taking a few nonprofit management courses or getting a mentor are the most popular development strategies, there are many other paths you can take.

During a recent Nonprofit Technology Conference by NTEN, Commongood Careers founder and CEO James Weinberg explained that heading back to school isn't the only way to develop your career. He listed the top nine professional development ideas that he preaches to job seekers:
  • Graduate programs. These can be costly. Make sure you are in a high-quality program that fits what you want to learn.
  • Workshops. This also is expensive. Some workshops guarantee certificates, but check to see if that piece of paper means anything for your professional career.
  • Self-education books. Some times your best teacher would be yourself. Look for books or online courses that can help.
  • In-house mentors. Ask a competent colleague or supervisor for guidance.
  • Outside mentors. Structure a relationship with someone in the field that works outside of your organization.
  • Peer networks. These organize colleagues with similar jobs.
  • Management. You can learn a lot by teaching others.
  • Try to work with 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.

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